Catholic priest fatally stabbed at church

FORT CALHOUN, NE – In a shocking event that unfolded in the early hours of Sunday morning, a Catholic priest in Nebraska was brutally assaulted at his church, eventually succumbing to his wounds. The suspect involved in this horrifying crime has subsequently been taken into custody.

The scene of the crime was the rectory of the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church situated in Fort Calhoun. It was at approximately 5:05 a.m. local time when the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was alerted about a believed break-in at the rectory. The responding deputies discovered an African-American male suspect inside the building. They also found Father Stephen Gutgsell critically injured, with wounds indicative of a stabbing assault.

Following the traumatic event, Gutgsell was immediately transported to Nebraska Medicine in Omaha by Fort Calhoun medical services. However, despite their best efforts, the priest did not survive.

Authorities identified the suspect as 43-year-old Kierre Williams from Sioux City. He was arrested under charges of homicide and utilizing a weapon to commit a felony offence.

Gutgsell had been serving as an associate pastor within the Archdiocese of Omaha. His duties included working between the Fort Calhoun parish and St. Francis Borgia in Blair. The devastating news prompted the Archdiocese of Omaha to release a statement requesting prayers.

Citing the ongoing investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the archdiocese asked for the community to join Archbishop George Lucas in prayer for Gutgsell, his family, and the St. John the Baptist parish community during this challenging time.

With the St. John the Baptist parish temporarily closed in the wake of this tragedy, members of the congregation attended St. Francis Borgia, where Archbishop George Lucas led Sunday morning Mass and provided comfort to the affected community.