Drive-by shooter fires gun at Denver-area Catholic Church building, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage

Colorado law enforcement is still looking for the shooter who fired a gun at a Denver-area church building in two separate incidents early in the morning Saturday and Monday.

The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports that no one was injured in the incidents, but an estimate suggests the bullets caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage to the Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary located in Adams County, Colorado.

The Catholic Arena tweeted photos showing the damage to the exterior of the church building from the gunfire. Photos show bullet holes in a window and a shattered window above two double-entry doors.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the vandalism of the church building. CBN News has contacted the sheriff’s office for an update. In an email to CBN News, Sgt. Adam Sherman wrote: “Our detectives have spoken with church staff and they are trying to provide video footage for possible evidence, but the church had a power outage which may have impacted this footage. , we’re not sure yet. But due to on-site evidence and interviews with church staff, there’s no reason to believe they were targeted in any way.”

Church staff told the ANC they were praying for the suspect and taking security measures.

“In the early morning hours of August 6 and 8, there were two separate incidents of gunfire hitting the front doors of Assumption Parish,” Deacon Derrick Johnson recalled.

“We pray for the conversion of whoever did this,” Johnson said. “If there is an opportunity to speak to this person, we would be happy to speak with them and have a dialogue.”

Deacon said security footage from the first incident shows ‘a single motorcyclist firing what we believe to be a gun as he drove by’.

Johnson said both incidents happened after the building was closed and church officials believe the suspect was only targeting the church building and not people.

He told CNA that damage to the building was estimated at around $75,000.

As CBN News has reported in recent months, acts of vandalism against churches and pro-life organizations have escalated since the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion indicated the court could overturn Roe v. Wade. Following the High Court’s Dobbs decision which overturned Roe, Catholic and Protestant churches across the country came under attack.

Last month, two churches in the Washington DC area were set on fire and another was heavily vandalized.

Religious leaders say they are “very disturbed” and fear that expressions of hatred will persist alongside the national debate on abortion.

“There were small attempts to burn some of the pews,” said Patricia Zapor, media relations director for the Archdiocese of Washington. “Some books have been shredded and the Stations of the Cross have been removed from the wall.”

Investigators say the work of arsonists at North Bethesda United Methodist Church and St. Jane Frances De Chantal Parish forced Sunday worshipers to attend services and Mass at another location.

Reverend Samuel Giese with St. Jane Frances made a direct correlation to what caused the situation.

“We think it’s because of the church’s stance on the issue of life, when it begins and when it should be protected,” Giese said. “And this is one of the manifestations of the deep divisions that are currently raging in our country.”

As CBN News reported in late June, police in Bellevue, Wash., arrested a 31-year-old man after he allegedly vandalized a church building, attacked a church worker and rammed a car. policeman with a backpack full of paint cans.

Bellevue Police Captain Darryl McKinney told KCPQ the damage would fall under a hate crimes law. The man will also face additional charges for assaulting a member of church staff.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has tracked at least 160 incidents of vandalism at Catholic sites in the United States since May 2020. The incidents occurred in 37 states and Washington, D.C.

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