Albuquerque police are interviewing Lawrence Capener, 24, as the suspect in the Sunday morning stabbings at St. Jude Thaddeus Parish.
Four people were stabbed this morning at St. Jude Thaddeus Parish in Northwest Albuquerque, police said.
Two of the four were critically injured, according to an emailed statement from APD spokesman Rob Gibbs, and all are expected to survive.
The church service was closing, Gibbs wrote, and the choir was beginning closing hymns when a man jumped over several pews, walked quickly to the front of the church and began stabbing choir members.
The alleged stabber is in custody, according to Gibbs. He has not been identified, and police do not believe he was a parishioner at the church. It is unclear whether he has been arrested or charged.
“As to the motive regarding the multiple stabbing, this has not yet been determined,” Gibbs’ statement said.
Several people quickly jumped on the man after the stabbings, Gibbs’ statement said, and held him down until police arrived.
He described the scene as “chaotic” and said in his statement that “numerous witnesses were and are being momentarily detained so that statements and contact information could be obtained.”
Gibbs’ statement did not address preliminary information from the Albuquerque Fire Department that one of its firefighters had been among those injured in the attack.
AFD officials are now saying they can’t confirm the initial reports. But an email from a department spokesman said that Fire Chief James Breen would be providing more information later today.
As many as six people were stabbed today at St. Jude Thaddeus Parish, 5712 Paradise Blvd. NW, officials said.
Two of the six were critically injured, according to the Albuquerque Fire Department. All were taken to area hospitals, and the two with life-threatening injuries were rushed by ambulance to University of New Mexico Hospital.
One of the people injured was an Albuquerque firefighter, according to preliminary reports from AFD. The firefighter was taken to Rust Medical Center at the Rio Rancho city limits with a “laceration to the scalp.”
It appears that the firefighter was off duty.
Preliminary reports also indicate that one person has been detained by authorities, although it is not clear whether any arrests have been made at this time.
It is unclear whether the stabbings took place during services.
Check back with ABQJournal.com for updates as more information becomes available.