AMERICA/UNITED STATES - Catholic priest killed in Nebraska

Monday, 11 December 2023

Omaha (Agenzia Fides) - Catholic priest Stephen Gutgsell was stabbed to death during a burglary yesterday, Sunday, December 10, in the rectory of the parish of St. John the Baptist in Fort Cahloun, a small community in Nebraska (USA). News of the priest's death was confirmed in an official statement from the Archdiocese of Omaha. The community of Fort Calhoun has a population of about 1,000 and is located about 20 miles north of Omaha. According to local media reports, police received a call in the early hours of Sunday morning reporting an attempted break-in at the church. When officers arrived at the rectory, they found the injured Gutgsell and the suspected attacker inside, who was arrested. The priest was taken by ambulance to Nebraska Medical Center, where he died from his injuries. The alleged perpetrator, Kierre L. Williams, 43, was arrested on charges of murder. According to US media reports, Gutgsell pleaded guilty to theft by deception for embezzling $127,000 from a local church. At the time, church leaders said Gutgsell learned his lesson after his sentencing, admitted wrongdoing and asked for forgiveness. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 11/12/2023)