Man charged in Albuquerque church stabbings
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque man has been formally charged with stabbing several members of the choir at Sunday Mass.
Authorities say 24-year-old Lawrence Capener was booked late Sunday on three counts of aggravated battery. The Albuquerque resident was ordered held on $75,000 bail.
Police say worshippers screamed as Capener stabbed several people just as Mass was ending at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church. Authorities say he continued the onslaught until he was tackled and held by church members until officers arrived.
It was not immediately known what sparked the bizarre attack at the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass on the city’s west side.
Four parishioners were injured and were listed in stable condition at a nearby hospital.
Just as the St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church choir began its final hymn, a man vaulted over pews and lashed out at the singers, sending four churchgoers to the hospital with stab wounds, authorities said.
Worshippers screamed as the shocking and chaotic scene unfolded Sunday with the attacker continuing the onslaught until he was tackled and held by church members for officers, who raced to the scene, police said.
Four parishioners were injured, including church choir director Adam Alvarez and flutist Gerald Madrid, police spokesman Robert Gibbs said. All four were being treated at hospitals and listed in stable condition.
Three other church members also were evaluated by Albuquerque Fire Department on scene and didn’t go to the hospital, investigators said.
Police identified the suspect as 24-year-old Lawrence Capener.
It was not immediately known what sparked the bizarre attack at the 11 a.m. Mass on the city’s Westside. Investigators don’t yet know whether Capener had ties to the victims or whether he regularly attended the church, Gibbs said.
An off-duty firefighter and others at the church held Capener down until police arrived.