A horrifying incident unfolded at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church on Thursday night (Jul. 13), as a local priest was viciously attacked with a machete, leaving him in critical condition.

The assailant, whose motive is yet to be fully determined, approached the priest and requested food, only to be denied. Enraged by the refusal, the suspect swiftly unleashed a brutal assault with the weapon, causing severe lacerations to the priest's head and body.

Emergency services swiftly arrived at the scene and rushed the injured priest to a nearby hospital, where he currently remains in critical condition, receiving urgent medical attention for his grave injuries. According to KLFY News 10, the local authorities, led by Melville Police Chief Phillip Lucas, are treating this shocking incident as a potential hate crime, given disturbing reports from witnesses and the suspect's own statements. Allegedly, the attacker explicitly expressed his intent to "kill a black man today," providing a concerning context to the assault.

In light of the possible hate crime nature of the attack, the Melville Police Department is seeking assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to aid in their investigation. Authorities are determined to thoroughly examine all leads, gather evidence, and ensure justice is served.

As of now, the suspect is in custody and will soon be transferred to the St. Landry Parish Jail. As local residents are anxiously awaiting further developments in this ongoing investigation, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide updates as more information becomes available.

See the full news story here via KLFY News 10.

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