US & Canada

Police seek suspect in Arizona church attack

A police flyer of Reverend Kenneth Walker Image copyright Phoenix Police Department
Image caption Police have issued flyers seeking information related to the death of the Reverend Kenneth Walker

Authorities have released a sketch of a suspect in the shooting death of an Arizona priest in an attack on a Roman Catholic church on Wednesday.

The suspect is said to be a white male aged 40-49.

The description came from a second priest who was injured in the attack.

The Reverend Joseph Terra, 56, is in a critical condition in hospital. He administered Last Rites to the Reverend Kenneth Walker, 28, following the break-in at the church.

A $1,000 (£589) reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest in the incident.

'No ill will'

Police went door to door in the neighbourhood looking for potential witnesses on Friday.

Investigators are unsure if more than one suspect was involved or if robbery was a motive in the attack at Mother of Mercy Mission in Phoenix.

A car belonging to Father Walker was found abandoned several blocks from the church after the crime.

Authorities said they were able to recover forensic evidence from the automobile that may lead them to a suspect.

Father Terra initially called authorities to report a burglary at the mission at about 21:00 local time on Wednesday.

Police later said Father Terra was so badly beaten it was feared he would not survive.

"Unfortunately because of the severity of his injuries, he was only able to provide limited information about one particular suspect," Phoenix police Sergeant Steve Martos told US media.

Parishioner Bill Haley told the Associated Press news agency he had visited Reverend Terra in hospital and the priest was able to talk.

"He said nothing evil about the person who did this, expressed no ill will."

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