Friday, July 31, 2015

If Only He'd Had A Gun To Defend Himself. Oh, Wait.... (The Packing Priest)

Rev. Joseph Terra was in the rectory of the Mother of Mercy Mission in Phoenix, Arizona, when he heard a suspicious sound outside in the courtyard.  Instead of calling police, he decided to investigate the sound himself and opened the kitchen door to the outside.

That's when a Gary Michael Moran, 54, an "ex-convict with a history of violence and drug abuse" and "a career criminal, a violent felony offender," pushed his way inside and started beating Terra with a metal rod.  If only Terra had had a gun to defend himself, as recommended by the NRA!  Oh wait, he did!  From an article:

Badly injured, Terra made it to his bedroom and retrieved his .357-caliber gun but was unable to fire before the attacker grabbed it, forced the priest to his knees and demanded money, according to court records.

Terra then blacked out.

When another priest, Rev. Kenneth Walker, came to investigate what was happening, Moran then shot Walker to death with Terra's gun. 

Moran then stole a number of items, including a car, and fled the scene.

When Terra woke up, he found Rev. Walker and performed last rites on him.

Moran was eventually apprehended after tips from people he had bragged to, and DNA evidence:

During the investigation, Terra was only able to provide a limited description of the suspect, but detectives said they were later able to link Moran to the crime scene through DNA. 
Witnesses also helped authorities identify Moran. 
On Sunday, a man came to the police station to report that he had heard Moran "was bragging about beating a priest and robbing him," according to court records. 
A day later, a woman told police Moran had given her a black bag that contained the priest's camera.
Too bad Terra had a gun.  Rev. Walker might be alive otherwise.  Beatings with blunt force objects, such as metal rods, only have a death rate less than 5%, whereas being shot has a death rate up around 85%.

And in case you were wondering why a priest would have a gun, particularly in a church called "Mother of Mercy," the article had this to say:
Police confirmed that Terra's gun was used to shoot Walker. 
Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted said over the weekend that the question of gun ownership among priests has not been a topic of discussion and isn't prohibited by the church. 
"There are some priests that go hunting for javelina, and for deer and for elk," Olmsted said. "So there would be some (gun owners), but it's not a question that I generally ask priests."
But it wasn't a rifle that Terra had in his room.  It was a handgun -- as in for self-defense.  Having a gun around to kill someone doesn't sound very "godly" to me.  Others have questioned the validity of priests having guns, as a result of this case.

Just another example of how owning a gun does not guarantee your safety and can actually increase your chances of dying.

[this post is part of an ongoing series of people being shot to death or attacked despite being armed (and sometimes because they are armed)].