LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA — St. Landry Catholic Church is coming together to pray for peace after the shootout that took place on Church grounds this past weekend.
As Mass began, shots rang out which seeming to come from the back of the Church. It took a minute for the priest saying mass, Monsignor Russell J. Harrington, to realize what had happened as they were preparing for the processional. He told the local news, KATC, that “It was disturbing because of the loss of human life. It was disturbing that children were here. They were coming to Mass. Families were coming to Mass and there’s something terrible about the fact that they have to face this kind of thing, knowing it’s supposed to be a safe place for them to worship.”
One of the two shooters was fatally hit, and the other was wounded. Reports indicate that there were still people going into the church and in harms way as the two men began shooting.
This is the second shooting in two days and the second fatality in two weeks for the town, and the fifth shooting in the surrounding area. The Church has decided the best way to move forward is to come together in prayer for peace and protection and try to get the community to join together against violence and seek better options when conflict presents itself.
Spokesperson for the Opelousas Police, Sgt. Crystal LeBlanc stated, “This ongoing gun violence will not be tolerated. If it means we have to work around the clock and add staff, that will be done. We just want the violence to cease.”
The surviving shooter is currently in custody.