A man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a Catholic priestwho was assaulted at his church in Nebraska on Sunday, reported the Associated Press. The suspect was also charged with burglary and two weapons charges, according to an affidavit obtained by the AP.
Father Stephen Gutgsell, a priest at St. John the Baptist Church in Fort Calhoun, was attacked at the church’s rectory. He called 911 and authorities arrived at around 5:00 a.m.
Police found Gutgsell bleeding from stab wounds on his face and body, lying in the rectory kitchen with the suspect, Kierre L. Williams, on top of him. He was transported to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he later died from his wounds. He was 65, according tolocal media.
The murder weapon was found nearby in a separate bedroom.
According to the affidavit, Deputy Brady Tucker said that when he arrived at the residence, he found that the door had been forced open. After he identified himself with the Sheriff’s Office, he heard someone call from the kitchen: “Help me,” and identified that “an intruder” was in the home.
Williams was arrested and transported to a county correctional facility.
It is still not clear whether the suspect had any relationship to Gutgsell, but the affidavit said the “killing was premeditated and done deliberately during a burglary.”
Williams is not from Fort Calhoun; he lived 75 miles away in Sioux City, Nebraska.
According to Tucker, he learned shortly after taking Williams into custody that he was a convicted felon with multiple warrants against him in other states.