U.S.

Suspect Arrested In Connection With Phoenix Priest Shooting

Police say they've arrested Gary Michael Moran in connection with the death of Father Kenneth Walker, who was shot and killed at a church in Phoenix.

Suspect Arrested In Connection With Phoenix Priest Shooting
KNXV
SMS

Phoenix police have made an arrest in a shooting that left one priest critically injured and another dead.

"Here he is: Gary Michael Moran. He is 54 years old and he was just released from prison in April where he served for burglary and aggravated assault." ​(Via KPHO)

KNXV reports on the night of June 11, Father Kenneth Walker and Father Joseph Terra answered the door of Mother of Mercy Mission in downtown Phoenix after someone knocked. 

Police received a 911 call from Father Terra, and when they arrived on the scene they found him severely beaten and Father Walker dead from a gunshot wound. A vehicle was also missing from the church property. 

CNN says police were able to get a few details about what happened out of Terra before he was rushed to a hospital for surgery.

The Los Angeles Times reports a flyer was distributed throughout the church Sunday saying, "Fr. Terra is expected to make a full recovery and will most likely remain as pastor of Mater Misericordiae Mission. He will need some time for recuperation and may spend part of the summer convalescing out-of-town."

Now KNXV reports police put a rush-order on DNA collected at the church and allegedly it came back as a match to Moran's.

Looking into Moran's background, The Arizona Republic reports Moran was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2006 for breaking into a Phoenix home and stabbing the homeowner. He was released in April, but the Arizona Department of Corrections could not say whether Moran had been supervised since then.

Moran was brought before a judge Monday morning after being booked Sunday night on counts of first-degree murder, vehicle theft and armed robbery with a deadly weapon. The judge set a $1 million cash-only bond.