'At the end of the Mass, a person came in firing and took lives,' priest says. 'Nobody could do anything'
A gunman killed at least four people people Tuesday, inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Conception in Campinas, Brazil. After opening fire inside the cathedral, the gunman took his own life.
The man entered the cathedral at the conclusion of a midday Mass on Dec. 11 and began firing, according to the Military Police of Campinas. In addition to those killed, at least four people were injured during the attack.
According to local fire department officials, the man was carrying two handguns, at least one of which was a .38 caliber revolver.
He reportedly committed suicide directly in front of the cathedral’s altar.
Father Amauri Thomazzi, who celebrated Tuesday’s 12:15 Mass in the cathedral, published a video on his Facebook page, in which he requested prayer.
“At the end of the Mass, a person came in firing and took lives. Nobody could do anything,” the priest said.
“To you, friends, I ask only that you pray for the [attacker]. He killed himself after the situation. He shot people and there were over 20 shots in here, then he killed himself. So we pray for him and for those who have been injured, there are some fatalities,” he said.
The names of the victims and the attacker have not yet been disclosed.
On its Facebook page, the Archdiocese of Campinas also urged Catholics to pray.
“A shooting left at least five people dead and four others injured in the early afternoon of Tuesday, inside the Metropolitan Cathedral of Campinas, in the city center, according to information from the fire department. The motive is not yet known,” the Facebook post said.
“The cathedral remains closed for the care of the victims and the investigation of the police. Once we have more information, we will make it available. We count on the prayers of all in this moment of deep pain,” the post concluded.
Major Paulo Monteiro of the Campinas Fire Department told reporters that the motive for the crime is not yet known and that at the moment the main concern is the care of the survivors.
The wounded were taken to local hospitals; their condition has not been disclosed.
“Let us ask Our Lady Immaculate to intercede for this cathedral, for these people and for these families,” Thomazzi urged.
This story was originally published by CNA’s sister agency, ACI Digital. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.