Heart-stopping moment when churchgoers stop A 16-year-old teenager was armed with a gun at the children’s first communion

Clergymen took cover, and churchgoers swiftly moved from their seats when a 16-year-old with a firearm walked into a church in Louisiana during a first communion service. However, resourceful parishioners managed to confront the teenager and safely escort him out of the premises.

A male teenager was taken into custody following a report received by the Abbeville Police Department about a suspicious individual carrying a firearm near St Mary Magdalen Church at approximately 10:30 am on Saturday.

The suspect has been apprehended for allegations of terrorizing and two instances of firearm possession by a minor.

According to a statement from the church, a teenager armed with a gun entered the church through the back door, causing a disruption during a first communion ceremony. Parishioners quickly confronted the teenager and escorted him outside, where he was then taken into custody by the police.

Approximately 60 children were present at the church at that time, eagerly preparing to receive their first communion during the church service, as reported by KADN.

The church expressed its understanding of the panic that ensued as a result of the incident. It acknowledged the fear and distress experienced by those present during the event. However, the church also extended its gratitude to both the parishioners and the police officers for their prompt action in ensuring the safety of everyone involved.

During a livestream video of the church service, associate pastor Father Nicholas DuPré found himself in the middle of prayer when chaos erupted in the background. The sounds of scuffling, screaming, and shouting filled the air as the crowd of people in attendance, mostly off camera, became increasingly restless.

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At the front of the church, churchgoers stand up and turn their attention towards the back, as Father DuPré and another clergyman beside him swiftly take cover behind the altar, seeking refuge from the ongoing chaotic noise emanating from the crowd.

Behind the altar, a police officer emerges, while a group of boys dressed in choir attire scurry from one end to the other.

Churchgoers are observed as they hurriedly gather their children, moving about in a flurry, until a voice resonates through the church, calmly instructing, “Just hold onto your child and proceed with caution.”

The teenager, along with the parishioners who confronted and escorted them, managed to evade the livestream cameras inside the church.

“We have successfully apprehended a young man who is currently in police custody. Please remain calm and ensure the safety of your child by staying close to them and moving slowly.”

Liz Touchet, who witnessed the Mass, shared with KADN that the first communion was progressing as usual when law enforcement officers suddenly entered the scene with their guns drawn.

“We were instructed to take cover as people began rushing to retrieve their children,” she recounted.

Following the arrest, the police officers from Abbeville and the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted a thorough search of the church premises. Their primary objectives were to rule out any further threats and ensure the safety of everyone present. Fortunately, their sweep confirmed that no additional threats were present, and no injuries were reported.

The police questioned the teenager in the presence of a parent before taking them to the Abbeville General Hospital Behavioral Medicine Center for a medical assessment.

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The church statement also mentions that, as a precautionary measure, uniformed law enforcement officials will be present in all upcoming Masses.

First communicants had the freedom to receive their first holy communion at any Mass they preferred throughout the entire weekend.

The next day, the church shared heartwarming photos on their Facebook page, showcasing children joyfully returning to the church to receive their first communion.

Chief Mike Hardy of the Abbeville Police Department is leading the investigation, working in collaboration with the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office and receiving support from the FBI.

I reached out to the Abbeville Police Department to gather more information, as reported by The Independent.

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