PHOENIX – Authorities have collected evidence from a Roman Catholic church in downtown Phoenix where one priest was fatally shot and another was critically injured, but investigators say they still don’t have any suspects or solid leads.
Police are unsure how many perpetrators were involved or whether robbery was the motive in the recent attack at the Mother of Mercy Mission near the state Capitol.
A vehicle belonging to the Rev. Kenneth Walker, who died at a hospital late Wednesday, was found abandoned a few blocks from the church.
Police were investigating whether the suspect or suspects took the 2003 Mazda and left it behind after the crime. Authorities were examining the vehicle for clues in what Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia called a “tragic and appalling criminal violation.”
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said the city was shocked and saddened as police pleaded for the public’s help in identifying the suspects.
As police investigated the crime scene at the church Thursday, about a dozen parishioners gathered across the street, kneeling on the sidewalk and reciting the rosary in response to the loss of their beloved clergyman. A bouquet of flowers and a photograph of Walker lay on the sidewalk.
The Rev. Joseph Terra, 56, was hospitalized in critical condition with unspecified wounds.
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