A stabbing attack at Grace Baptist Church, located in 484 E. San Fernando St. in San Jose, California, left two people dead and three others wounded on Sunday. The motive behind the assault is still unknown.
On Nov. 22 at 8 p.m., police officers arrived at a crime scene after receiving a report about a stabbing attack going on at a church near the San Jose State University campus. The suspect was immediately apprehended and is now under police custody.
Officers quickly launched an investigation on the motives of the attack. Authorities haven't released any information about the suspect and the result of the investigation as of writing time.
The responding officers pronounced one of the victims, a man, dead upon arriving on the scene. Four others were sent to the nearby hospital. One of them, a woman, passed away in the hospital. The three others are now in stable condition although all of them suffered serious injuries.
Among the surviving victims was Nguyen Pham, a volunteer and advocate for the homeless. He was doing church volunteering work the night that the incident happened, according to the Christian Post.
According to the San Jose Police Department, the stabbing incident at Grace Baptist Church is not a rare case. The department already received 39 other previous crime reports since the beginning of 2020 making the GBC assault the 40th and 41st homicide cases in the city.
Although no church service was held during the time of the attack, people were inside the building because the GBC provided temporary shelter for the homeless during the winter season. Homeless people were staying in the church when the stabbing incident took place.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo expressed his grief over the loss of two community members through a statement he released on Monday, NBC reported. "Our hearts are torn for the victims and their loved ones in last night's horrific stabbing at Grace Baptist Church on 10th Street," he said hoping for the recovery of the three others seriously wounded.
Liccardo assured the San Jose community members that the suspect remains in the San Jose Police District custody and that they will keep the public informed once the department released the results of the investigation.
In a statement, Grace Baptist Church's pastor, Rev. David Robinson, thanked the police for their swift response to the terrible incident that happened in the church. He is also asking people to pray for the injured guests, the church staff, the congregation, the community, and everyone affected by the incident. He is also asking for prayers for the perpetrator of the crime.
The GBC San Jose has always provided a shelter for the homeless not only during the winter but whenever the need arises as well. During the COVID 19 lockdown, the church provided 50 beds for whoever will need them. The church usually provides 65 beds but had to reduce the number it can accommodate due to social distancing orders, Fox KTVU reported.
"In an atmosphere of diversity and dignity, everyone is welcome to be a part of this exciting congregation. If you ever felt you don't fit anywhere else, come to Grace and you'll find a home!" GBC said in its website.
GBC, according to its website, serves various groups of people, including college students, families with young kids, people with mental conditions, homeless, even those in the LGBT community.
The church is especially concerned about the cold snap that poses a serious risk to homeless people in the city. They are battling both the risk of novel coronavirus infection and the freezing temperature, two fatal enemies.