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“Suspicious person” enters church back door, later apprehended by police in Abbeville

Updated: May 12

ABBEVILLE, La. (ENN) — During a First Communion mass this morning, officials say the mass was “interrupted” when a suspicious person opened the back door.


The incident occurred at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Abbeville.


“This morning, our First Communion ceremony was interrupted when a suspicious person opened the back door.  The individual was immediately confronted by parishioners, escorted outside and the police were called,” a released from the church states.


The individual was quickly apprehended by Abbeville Police Department and is in their custody.  Police say he is a 16-year-old male.

He was charged with terrorizing and 2 counts of possession of a firearm by a juvenile.


Once apprehended, law enforcement entered the church to make sure there was no additional danger.  Church officials say “this understandably caused panic.”


Abbeville Police, along with the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident.


Church official say they will have uniformed law-enforcement at all masses for the foreseeable future, out of an abundance of caution.


“While we realize this was a frightening experience for those in attendance, we are incredibly grateful to both parishioners and police officers for acting quickly to ensure the safety of all,” the statement said. “Chief Mike Hardy is handling the investigation with cooperation of the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s office and assistance from the FBI.   Out of an abundance of caution, we will have uniformed law enforcement at all upcoming Masses.  We invite First Communicants to receive First Holy Communion at whichever Mass they choose to attend this weekend.  We are grateful for all the prayers for our St. Mary Magdalen community.”

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