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Teen Armed with Rifle Intercepted at Louisiana Church During First Communion Ceremony

In a shocking incident that unfolded during a First Holy Communion ceremony, a 16-year-old wearing all black attempted to enter a Catholic Church in Louisiana with a rifle, reportedly intending to carry out a massacre. The incident occurred at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Abbeville, Louisiana, on May 11, 2024, as the church was filled with children and families celebrating the religious milestone.

The teenager, whose identity has not been disclosed due to his age, was apprehended by quick-thinking parishioners before he could execute his alleged plan. As the ceremony was being livestreamed, the disturbing event was captured on video, showing the moment when the teen, dressed in black, tried to force his way into the church. Parishioners swiftly intervened, confronting and detaining the teenager before he could cause any harm.

Abbeville Police Department officers arrived at the scene within minutes of receiving a call about the disturbance. The suspect was arrested and charged with terrorizing the church and two counts of possession of a firearm by a juvenile. He was later taken to the Abbeville General Hospital Behavioral Unit for medical evaluation.

The incident has sent shockwaves through the local community and has raised concerns about the safety of places of worship. In response to the event, the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette thanked the parishioners and police officers for their prompt action, which likely prevented a tragic outcome. The church has announced plans to have uniformed law enforcement officers present at future Masses "out of an abundance of caution."

The attempted attack has also sparked discussions about gun control and the mental health of young people. The FBI, alongside Abbeville Police and the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office, are investigating the incident.

In a statement, the Diocese of Lafayette urged anyone seeking to attend a First Holy Communion to do so at the next available Mass, reassuring the faithful that measures are being taken to ensure the safety and security of all who attend services at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church.

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