This past Sunday, an armed man entered Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Santa Ana , California between Mass at around 4:20 p.m.
The building was only occupied by about 10 to 15 parishioners, some of them members of the choir. One parishioner went outside and flagged down police responding to an unrelated call.
The law enforcement officer went inside to find the man standing at the altar with a gun in his hand. The officer fired at the man, who stumbled about 100 feet outside still carrying the gun, before collapsing and being pronounced dead on the scene.
The Santa Ana Police Department said in a statement that there was “no evidence to suggest this incident was intended to be a mass casualty shooting and the Catholic church was not targeted.”
Police Chief David Valenti said the man was distraught and possibly suicidal: “We understand he was distraught over a relationship. We’re not sure if that’s why he was here.”
Valenti added that “thankfully, by the grace of God, this incident occurred between Mass services.”
5️⃣SAPD Officers actions likely saved others lives and/or prevented injury
— SantaAnaPD (@SantaAnaPD) March 2, 2020