Catholic priest fatally stabbed after suspect breaks into Nebraska church rectory

Priest MURDERED - Found Stabbed To DEATH

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Authorities and church officials have confirmed that a man broke into the rectory of a tiny Nebraska town early Sunday morning, fatally stabbed a Catholic priest who lived there.

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, when Father Stephen Gutgsell was reportedly assaulted by Kierre Williams inside St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at 5 a.m., deputies discovered him with stab wounds.

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Gutgsell was declared dead upon arrival at the University of Nebraska Medical Center after being taken there.

The sheriff’s office announced that 43-year-old Williams of Sioux City, Iowa, was still in the rectory when the authorities came. He was detained on charges of homicide and use of a weapon to commit a felony.

A break-in attempt at a church in Fort Calhoun, a town of 1,000 people situated 20 miles north of Omaha, was the main reason for the initial call to the location by the police.

Gutgsell was attacked during what the Archdiocese of Omaha called a “invasion at the rectory” at the church, according to a statement.

During this heartbreaking time, the archdiocese issued a statement requesting that the community of St. John the Baptist parish, together with Father Gutgsell’s family and friends, as well as Archbishop George Lucas, be kept in their prayers, as reported by the Omaha World-Herald.

Mike Fitzgerald, a member of the St. John the Baptist church, informed the Omaha-World-Herald that the regularly scheduled 8:30 a.m. Mass had been canceled. He remembered Gutgsell, who was at the church for 11 years, as a “very holy man.”

“He did a lot of things for the community,” he said. “He always made sure that the (church) bulletin had everything we needed to know about things going on at the church.”

In 2007, Gutgsell admitted to stealing $127,000 from a local church and was given a probationary term and had to pay back the money. That was over ten years ago.

After he realised his mistake and asked for forgiveness, the church reassigned him to a different congregation.

In an interview with WOWT-TV, Washington County Sheriff Mike Robinson stated that his department does not suspect that Gutgsell’s death was connected to his prior criminal history.

On Sunday, officials announced that the Washington County District Attorney’s Office would be providing new details.