A young priest was shot dead Wednesday evening and another was critically injured during a burglary at a Catholic church in Phoenix, Arizona.
Father Kenneth Walker, 28, associate pastor of Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy) Mission Church was attacked along with the pastor, Father Joseph Terra, during a break-in.
Fr. Walker later died in the hospital, while Fr. Terra, 56, remains in critical but stable condition.
Fr. Walker had just celebrated his second anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
“We are stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic assault,” said a statement from the Archdiocese of Phoenix, adding that both priests belong to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.
“We ask that people offer prayers for both priests, the religious community, their families and the parish.”
The surviving victim alerted the local police to the robbery at around 9pm.
Police say the incident took place in the living quarters attached to the church.
A green 2003 Mazda Tribute was stolen from the church property, and was later found abandoned, according to police.