When a mad assailant burst into a church in Virginia, he began stabbing everyone he could during the Bible study session. Among the two victims was the church’s blindsided pastor, who never saw the attack coming. Thankfully, members of the congregation worked with the local police chief to take down the wild assailant, who was apprehended and jailed with serious charges that could put him behind bars for years.
The violent outburst occurred around 3 pm on Saturday at the Covenant Church in Chantilly, Virginia. The assailant, 32-year-old Chance Harrison (below), a church member originally from Florida, entered the venue without incident and then stabbed the pastor “without provocation.”
The possible attempted murder occurred inside the church, which is located about twenty-five minutes outside of Washington, D.C. Harrison burst into the Bible study class with knife brandished and inserted the blade into the body of his pastor.
Because Harrison decided to attack the pastor during a class, there were other members of the congregation present. Two of these church members jumped to action to save the life of their beloved pastor. One of these heroes included Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler (above). Because the police chief had training around this type of attack and had another member of the church by his side, the pair were able to subdue Harrison until reinforcements arrived. But they weren’t able to stop him before he seriously injured two people with his deadly blade.
The stab victims in the attack include the pastor and the other man who intervened. Chief Roessler suffered minor injuries during the altercation with the mad attacker.
“He did his part in the moment,” a witness reluctantly said about Roessler’s defense of the pastor to ABC News. “Sometimes we can’t prevent injury. I know people were injured, but it could have been worse, I do believe. I think it could have been a lot worse. There are a lot of emotions, but I do have faith that everything is going to be okay.”
Police think they recovered the knife used by Harrison. It was found at the scene of the attack.
Police have yet to publish a motive for the surprise attack on the church’s pastor.
On the day o the attack, the church was holding a special Bible study class for members. The class was an outreach effort to increase membership at the church as well as strengthen the faith of current members. Harrison (below) knew that there would be people there, if he knew about the class, and decided to attack then when there would be a lot of publicity around his seeming murder attempt.
“The people are very friendly and very nice, especially the pastor. It’s really scary. This doesn’t have to happen in church. This is my congregation, and I’m very sad,” a church member said to WUSA9.
Brett Fuller, another pastor at Grace Covenant Church and chaplain to Washington DC’s NFL franchise, released an official statement that said:
“Today, in a routine church educational setting, one of our pastors was assaulted by an attendee. Two church members came to the pastor’s aid and valiantly risked their own lives to defend him. In the process, one of our members was injured. ..The assailant was taken into captivity at the scene. We are in prayer for all the injured. We are grateful for the courage exhibited that prevented worse from happening.”
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