Police release 911 tape in Phoenix priest attack

PHOENIX - Phoenix police have released the 911 call made just moments after a Valley priest was murdered Wednesday night .

Investigators are still searching for solid leads after Rev. Kenneth Walker was killed and Rev. Joseph Terra was critically injured at a Roman Catholic church in a gritty stretch of downtown Phoenix.

Terra called 911 around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and administered last rites to the wounded Walker while waiting for police to arrive.

During the 911 call, you can hear Terra struggling to describe to the operator what had happened.

On the dispatch recording, Terra has trouble describing the assailant or the weapon used in the attack.

He tells the operator Walker is unconscious, at which point she instructs him to start CPR.

Paramedics eventually get on the line and try to help Terra save Walker's life.

Listen to the full 911 call in the video above.

Based on an interview with Terra, police said they believe the suspect is a white male in his 40s but acknowledge it was a "limited description."

Terra remains hospitalized in critical condition with unspecified wounds.

There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Police are still unsure if there was only one suspect involved or whether robbery was the motive in the attack at the Mother of Mercy Mission, Sgt. Steve Martos said.

A vehicle belonging to Walker, who died at a hospital late Wednesday, was found abandoned a few blocks from the church.

Police were investigating whether the suspect or suspects took the 2003 Mazda and left it behind after the crime. Authorities were examining the vehicle for clues in what Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia called a "tragic and appalling criminal violation."

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said the city was shocked and saddened by the violent attack.

About a dozen parishioners gathered across the street on Thursday, kneeling on the sidewalk and reciting the rosary. A bouquet of flowers and a photograph of Walker lay on the sidewalk.

The two priests lived at the church, located along a gritty stretch of downtown Phoenix near the state Capitol. Terra, 56, served as pastor and Walker, 28, as assistant pastor.

 

 

 

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