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Fearless Parishioners Stop Armed Teen From Entering Church Service Packed With Kids

A communion service at a Catholic church in Louisiana narrowly avoided becoming the latest scene of violence against Christians.

When a group of parishioners noticed a suspicious teen approaching, they leaped into action and disarmed him before anyone in the house of worship, including dozens of children, could be injured.

As the New York Post reported:

The incident was streamed live on the church’s website Saturday morning as Fr. Nicholas G. Dupré led the faithful in prayer from the altar.

In the dramatic video, parishioners seated at pews toward the front of the church can be seen nervously glancing behind them as the commotion began about 48 minutes into the service.

Seconds later, an unidentified man wearing a suit approaches Dupré mid-sentence and whispers something in his ear, at which point he calmly asks the room to join him in reciting the Hail Mary.

The scene grew louder and more chaotic as the prayer echoed through the crowded chamber, punctuated by screams from some of the approximately 60 children there to receive their First Communion.

Amid the uproar, altar boys nervously stepped into view from the elevated sanctuary behind the priest to gawk at the disruption as the clergy knelt behind the communion table — appear to take cover.

At least two armed officers can be seen in the footage — including one with a rifle — as they swept the church for additional threats. Parishioners began scooping up their children and vacating the church as an unidentified man’s voice came over the loudspeaker urging parents to “just get a hold of your child” and slowly exit the building.

The actions of the quick-thinking parishioners were widely heralded on social media:

This incident occurred on the heels of another thwarted attack on a church, which reportedly ended when the would-be shooter’s gun jammed.

Here’s what police had to say about the situation, per the Daily Caller:

The Abbeville Police Department (APD) received the report at 10:35 a.m. from the St Mary Magdalen Church in Abbeville, Chief of Police Mike Hardy said in a Saturday press release. “The person was confronted by parishioners and escorted outside. Upon arrival, Officers arrested the suspect and placed him in custody.”

“The suspect, a 16 year old…is being charged with Terrorizing and 2 counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Juvenile,” Hardy added, according to the press release. The charges followed a police interrogation of the suspect in the presence of his parent and a psychological evaluation of the suspect at the Abbeville General Hospital Behavioral Unit, the press release noted.

No one was injured and police found no other threats after conducting a sweep of the parish premises with assistance from the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office (VPSO), according to the press release.

Footage from the service was included in local news coverage:


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