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Transient Held in Stabbing of Five in Church

November 23, 1987|Associated Press

FORT WORTH — A homeless man panhandling for money went "berserk" and stabbed at least five worshipers who tried to stop him from approaching a priest during a Sunday morning Mass, authorities said.

The attacker was critically wounded with his own knife during the scuffle, authorities said. It was uncertain exactly how the man suffered the wounds, Police Capt. Jerry Blaisdell said.

Attempted murder charges were being prepared against the 28-year-old transient, who was stabbed three times, once in the heart, as churchgoers wrestled with him near an exit at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Blaisdell said.

The suspect's name was being withheld pending filing of the formal charges, police said.

"He had gone berserk inside the church and stabbed several people before being subdued," said police Sgt. Ken Francis.

Besides the five worshipers who were taken to hospitals, several others suffered minor injuries and did not seek hospital treatment, officials said.

The suspect was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, where he was reported in critical condition.

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