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Arrest Made In Phoenix Priest Killing

Arrest Made In Phoenix Priest Killing

PHOENIX (AP) -- Court records show a Phoenix priest who went to investigate noises in a church courtyard was attacked by an ex-convict wielding a piece of iron before the priest fled and got a gun from his bedroom.

The injured priest, Rev. Joseph Terra, wasn't able to fire the weapon because his finger was injured, and police reports show 54-year-old suspect Gary Michael Moran wrestled it away from him.

Rev. Kenneth Walker, another Roman Catholic priest who came to Terra's aid, was then shot.

The court records were filed by police to support murder and other charges against Moran. The documents were released Monday.

The records say Moran told detectives that he shot the priest who tried to help Terra.

Moran was released from prison in April after serving about eight years on charges that included aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Walker was born in upstate New York, had 10 siblings and was drawn to the priesthood after attending traditional Latin Mass with his family in high school. He later joined the seminary, made good grades and enjoyed playing soccer, said the Rev. Joseph Lee, academic dean at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Nebraska.

Walker eventually joined a Catholic order that specializes in Latin Mass and became a priest in downtown Phoenix. He recently officiated a younger sibling's wedding in Kansas - the last time he saw many relatives.

 

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