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Man arrested in shooting during Catholic church service in Utah

June 17, 2013|By Michael Muskal

Terror erupted in a Roman Catholic Church in Ogden, Utah, when a 35-year-old man allegedly shot his father-in-law, then led authorities on a wild chase before he was apprehended, authorities said.

Charles Richard Jennings Jr., 35, was captured Sunday afternoon in nearby Box Elder County after fleeing in a stolen pickup truck, investigators said. Jennings was booked on suspicion of attempted aggravated criminal homicide in the shooting and aggravated robbery for stealing a truck at gunpoint, police said.

According to authorities, one shot was fired in the church during the 11:30 a.m. Mass at Saint James the Just Catholic Church in Ogden. Parishioners immediately ducked for cover.

The unnamed person hit by the shot was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in stable condition. There was no immediate motive, but police said the shooting wasn’t random.

“The suspect was specific in the desired target and action,” the Ogden police department said in a prepared statement.  “No other patrons were injured during the altercation.”

After the shooting, Jennings allegedly stole a truck and fled. Police searched and found him near where he had abandoned the truck.

The church's priest called for people to pray for the victim, as well as Jennings.

“Nowhere is immune from evil and it's what people do when they're confronted with it that really shows their character and I'm really proud of my people here at the church,” Father Erik Richtsteig told reporters in video shot by KSL-TV.

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