Priest describes ‘pandemonium’ after 6 shot after funeral Mass at London Catholic church


Police officers attend the scene of a shooting by St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church on Jan. 14, 2023, in London, England. / Carl Court/Getty Images

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jan 15, 2023 / 14:30 pm (CNA).

A parish priest of a Catholic church in London where six people —including two children — were injured in a drive-by shooting Saturday described the panic that ensued after the attack.

Father Jeremy Trood said he heard the gunshot Saturday shortly after mourners left a St. Aloysius Church in Euston, North London, to release doves following a memorial service for a young woman and her mother who died within a month of one another in November.

“I was inside the church and suddenly there was an enormous bang and people rushed back into the church screaming and saying shots had been fired,” the Catholic priest said, according to Sky News.

“There are no words that can describe what had happened and I can’t imagine why anybody could possibly do such a thing. There were hundreds of people in the church coming out. It was pandemonium.” Shouting and sounds of panic can be heard on a video taken from inside the church.

Shots were fired from a vehicle driving past the church on Saturday at about 1:30 p.m. local time. A funeral Mass for 20-year-old Sara Sanchez and her mother, Fresia Calderon, who died within a month of one another in November, had just ended inside the church.

One of the shooting victims, a 7-year-old girl, was reported to be in stable but life-threatening condition, while a 48-year-old woman was said to have potentially life-changing injuries.

“It was a shocking incident. People came here to attend a funeral to be with friends and loved ones and mourn together. Instead, they were the victims of a senseless act of violence,” Superintendent Jack Rowlands of the Met Police said during a news conference Saturday.

“We have a significant number of specialist detectives and local officers working around the clock. But we also need the public’s help. We want to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident or has information about it. Your information could be vitally important, no matter how insignificant you think it is,” he said.

“We believe the suspects discharged a shotgun from a moving vehicle, which was a black Toyota C-HR, likely a 2019 model or similar,” Rowland said.

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