From a far Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church doesn’t look like it’s suffered too much damage but, get closer and you can see it. There are at least 7 bullet holes that have pierced the windows, and beams in the front. Part of a bullet made it all the way to the front of the pews. “It’s a shock to see somebody had done this kind of thing to a church,” said Sue Pitt, a parishioner.
When we arrived we found a handful of parishioners and Father Francis Sofie cleaning up. Sofie told us he discovered the damage this morning as he opened up church for mass. Parishioners say glass was strewn all over the floors. Mobile Police were called, they collected evidence and are looking to find out who did this. While we were on the scene, one parishioner actually found a 9mm bullet still lodged in the window frame.
“I guess it’s a good thing we keep it locked if it wasn’t locked maybe they would have come in and done more damage,” added Pitt.
Unfortunately similar incidents have also happened at the day care across the street. The owner didn’t want to be identified but she says, she’s suffered plenty of damage. “The windows had been shot out and I had to replace the two largest windows in the day care van,” she said. That happened last Christmas, two years before that someone broke into her building. “They released fire extinguishers and threw egg all over the office and just completely vandalized the whole building.”
She tell us it happens in this neighborhood late at night when fewer people are around. She hopes this incident will increase more police patrols in the area. Meanwhile, churchgoers like Pitt say this will not scare her from going to mass.
“This is not going to stop anything it’s always been a good parish because the Lord is going to be there with us,” said Pitt.
For now the church will cover up the bullet holes as best they can before they figure out how to fix all the damage.
A pastor discovered bullet holes in the front of his church Wednesday morning in Mobile.
Father Francis Sofie of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church on Boykin Boulevard says he discovered the bullet holes, bullet casings and at least one hollow-point bullet when he opened up the church for mass at 8:00am. At least seven bullets were fired into the church at some point overnight.
Police arrived on scene this morning and collected evidence. No one was believed to be in the church at the time of the shooting.
The bullets caused damage to several glass windows and frames. Shards of debris were littered over the church floor when Father Sofie opened up this morning.
Sofie says nothing like this has ever happened before.
News 5 is gathering more information as police continue to investigate. No word yet on any potential suspects or motive for the violence outside the church.
We’ll have more in a live report coming up on News 5 at Noon.
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