Home News Local News No suspects after church facility damaged by gunfire

No suspects after church facility damaged by gunfire

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Roswell Police still do not know who might have fired more than a dozen shots that caused substantial damage to St. Peter’s Catholic Church’s Religious Education Center earlier this week.

“No new developments on our end,” Todd Wildermuth, public information officer for the Roswell Police Department, said Friday when asked about any progress in the case.

Frank Fisher, public information officer for the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, confirmed the FBI has been made aware of the incident and remains in touch with the RPD on the matter.

If information is discovered of a potential federal crime, the FBI will be ready to investigate, Fisher said.

Police were called to the church’s Religious Education Center in the 100 block of East Deming Street Tuesday at 9:25 a.m. in reference to a shooting at a dwelling, occupied building or from a motor vehicle, according to an incident report from the RPD.

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Vikki Purcell, parish manager for the church, said she contacted police after staff at the center found debris in the hallway.

“And they could not figure out where it came from,” Purcell said.

Soon, staff found several windows and curtains in a classroom on the southeast corner of the building riddled with bullet holes. Purcell added that she also found 14 spent shells from a 9mm handgun in the area.

The damage, she said, is thought to be connected to gunfire that was reported to be heard in the area Monday night by a nearby resident.

One of the bullets, she said, is believed to have penetrated a window from outside the building, traveled across a classroom, and through a glass window above the classroom door before ending up lodged in a wall in the hallway. Three holes in the stucco on the building’s exterior were also found.

According to the police report, the total cost in damage to the building is believed to be about $5,000.

Purcell, who has been working at the church for 12 years, said such incidents are not normal for the church or it’s Religious Education Center, which is scheduled to begin classes in September.

Though the church is located in a low-income neighborhood and people can be seen wandering around, she said most of them are “not aggressive” and are looking for food assistance from the church.

She said no one with the church has any idea who could have done such a thing or why.

“It is just unfortunate to think that it is OK to damage church property,” she said.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.