Corpus Christi, TX – Four church members, including a pastor, were stabbed by another churchgoer during a religious service at a residence on Wednesday night, police said.
The attack occurred just after 7 p.m., while 15 to 20 people convened for a special church service at the pastor’s home. Several more parishioners were still arriving, and the pastor’s children were also inside the residence, the Caller Times reported.
Witnesses said that the pastor and several others were singing when a long-time member of the church lunged at the pastor and began stabbing him, KZTV reported.
“One of the parishioners just out of nowhere attacked the pastor and another member in the band,” Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) Lieutenant Jake Clement said.
The victims were immediately taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries, KRIS reported.
The pastor remains in critical condition. Church band member, Frank Castillo, succumbed to his injuries from a stab wound to the neck, according to KTRK.
Two other church members were injured as they struggled to pull the attacker off of the victims, police said. One was stabbed in the hand, and the other was stabbed in the arm, the Caller Times reported.
According to KRIS, both were treated for their injuries at the scene, and were released from medical care.
The attacker, who was described only as a male in his 30s, was taken into custody. He faces four counts of aggravated assault, Lt. Clement told the Caller Times.
Although the assailant’s motive was not immediately known, but police said the man may have mental health issues, KZTV reported.
County records indicate that the house where the nondenominational church service was taking place is owned by Kingdom Acts Ministries International.
UPDATE: Marco Moreno, 28, was charged with one count of murder and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on $1.45 million bail, according to KRIS.