A deadly shooting outside the St. Landry Catholic Church remains under investigation. According to police, two men started shooting at each other. One was killed and the other is in custody.
It happened as mass was underway and now the congregation is praying for peace.
“It was disturbing because of the loss of human life, ” Reverend Monsignor Russell J. Harrington said. “It was disturbing that children were here. They were coming to mass. Families were coming to mass and there’s something terrible about the fact that they have to face this kind of thing, knowing it’s supposed to be a safe place for them to worship.”
Harrington says the shooting started about 10 minutes before mass began.
“We heard the gunshots from the back of the church, not knowing exactly what it was. When we came around the front for the procession that’s when I realized what it had been.”
It’s the second shooting the Opelousas community has seen in as many days and the second fatal shooting in as many weeks.
Church members are now praying for peace within the community
“You have to pray more,” Shirley Rene said. “It’s not going to stop on its own. We need to come together as a community. ”
Harrington added, “We have to really look within ourselves and see that there are better options for us than just turning to violence.”