Police Arrest Suspect in Fatal Priest Shooting. Suspect had Been Out of Prison for Two Months.

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Gary Michael Moran. Photo Source: KTAR.com

Gary Michael Moran has been charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Father Kenneth Walker, Associate Pastor at Mother of Mercy Mission Catholic Church in Phoenix AZ.

Mr Moran has also been charged with first degree burglary and armed robber with a deadly weapon. He was arrested after DNA evidence linked him to a van which was stolen during the robbery/murder. It sounds as if Mr Moran may have confessed to the crime since an article from KTAR.com says that he told police that he “shot one of the priests after the man came to the aid of the priest struggling with Moran in a hallway.”

It appears that Father Walker attempted to help the parish’ Senior Pastor, Father Joseph Terra, when he was being attacked by Mr Moran. I’ve read that Father Terra gave last rites to Father Walker after he was shot. Father Terra called 911. He told the dispatcher that Father Walker was not breathing at that time.

From KTAR.com:

PHOENIX — Bail was set at $1 million Monday for the man accused of fatally shooting one priest and brutally beating another at a Phoenix church.

Gary Michael Moran, 54, was charged with the first-degree murder of Rev. Kenneth Walker at Mother of Mercy Mission Catholic church near 15th Avenue and Monroe Street last week.

Rev. Joseph Terra was also attacked, but survived. He is expected to recover.

Police arrested Moran late Sunday based on DNA evidence lifted from a van belonging to the church that was taken from the site but found several blocks away.

Moran also was charged with first-degree burglary and armed robbery with a deadly weapon. In court documents, Moran told police that he shot one of the priests after the man came to the aid of the priest struggling with Moran in a hallway.

Walker was shot with a gun that was inside a rectory bedroom.

According to the state’s Department of Corrections website, Moran had been in prison on aggravated assault charges from 2006 until late April.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    There is no reason for being soft on crime. This man should not have been out of prison. I’ve never thought it out from a theological perspective, but it occurs to me that you only give people the opportunity to commit grave sins. If this man were in prison, this evil would not have occured.

  • Faithr

    He looks like a meth addict. What a horrible event.

  • Sus_1

    I wish he didnt have access to a gun and bullets. He might have stabbed them instead but at least it would have taken more effort than pointing and pulling the trigger.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Ah, but you would not want to deprive all those nice law-abiding Americans of unrestricted access to murder implements, without which their liberties would mean nothing to them? [This is sarcasm, by the way.]

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    “Well done, you good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in small things, you shall be rewarded in great things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”

  • bill b

    Sus 1,
    You might be living in the suburbs. The gun belonged to Fr. Terra who may have had it due to previous dangerous incidents in that rough area. Here’s the link indicating such

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/ejmontini/2014/06/16/murdered-priest-phoenix/10637727/

    • Sus_1

      I live in a rural area. I stand by what I said. I wish this guy hadn’t had access to a gun and bullets.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Yes, and much good did it do him. Do you even realize when you are shooting yourself in the foot? This poor priest would have stood a much greater chance of life if his murderer had only found a kitchen knife.

      • bill b

        It did him no good because he opened the door in a rough area of the US without it but I sense from your posts that you are closed on this whole area and you might live outside the US. Obviously an incident made him get the gun but to open doors at all in some parts of the US without an intercom or chain…is an iffy move.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    Scredrivers are made to turn screws. Any other use does not contradict that. Guns, and especially handguns, are made to kill people. End of story.

  • hamiltonr

    Cool it, Sixtus. There is no reason to talk to Sus that way.

  • hamiltonr

    I’m going to allow this because Fabio is tough. He can take care of himself. But I’m warning both of you at the outset, mind your manners and do not get personal.

  • hamiltonr

    Sus is not “following a false Christ” because she has a viewpoint that differs from yours on a political issue. I’m allowing you a lot of leeway because you are new here. But you must learn to express yourself without attacking other commenters to comment on this blog.

    • Sixtus VIth

      I can tell you believe this, and that we aren’t going to get along, so this will be my departing comment.

      Sus is following a false Christ because (s)he is contradicting the clear and inerrant teaching of Scripture about the right to self-defense and the praiseworthiness of defending oneself and others against unjust assault. And you are being disingenuous in pretending otherwise.

      As for attacking other commenters, consider that our society might not be in a moral and spiritual toilet if people who spouted obviously false and evil ideas were singled out and sanctioned before they could spread them to others. That the people who hold these ideas believe them to be good is immaterial to the harm they cause others, and the degradation they bring on our nation. This idea – “error has no rights” – was the opinion of the Roman Catholic Church until the religious equivalent of yesterday. The idea that we all need to get along is simply false. “What accord hath Christ with Belial?”

      I’ll be going. I hope you choose to become part of the solution rather than an enabler of the problem.

      • hamiltonr

        You’re making yourself into a little pope Sixtus. And a rather nasty one.

        “Judge not that you be not judged, for by what measure you judge, that measure will be meted to you again.”

        I believe that’s Scriptural. Wonder Who said it?


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