A pastor was stabbed during a Bible study session at a Virginia church, but was saved by quick-thinking congregation members.
The horrific attack took place on Saturday around 3pm at the Grace Covenant Church in Chantilly, Virginia, located about 25 miles west of Washington DC during a Bible study class.
Chance Harrison, 32, an alleged member of the church, entered the venue and stabbed the pastor ‘without provocation’.
Two church members – one of them Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler – jumped to the pastor’s defense and subdued Harrison.
In the confrontation the pastor was stabbed and a man who intervened was also stabbed. Roessler also suffered minor injuries during the confrontation.
‘He did his part in the moment,’ a witness said on Roessler’s defense of the pastor to ABC News.
The two men injured were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect, 32-year-old Chance Harrison, was charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding, one count of felony assault on a police officer, and one count of misdemeanor assault, WJLA reported.
Catherine McGuire, a member of Grace Covenant, said she’s thankful for Roussler’s bravery.
“He did his part in the moment but sometimes we can’t prevent injury,” she said. “I know people were injured but it could have been worse I believe … it could’ve been a lot worse.”
Brett Fuller, a senior pastor at the church and chaplain to Washington, D.C.’s NFL franchise, released a statement following the stabbing.
“Today, in a routine church educational setting, one of our pastors was assaulted by an attendee,” Fuller said. “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 pastor and one of the members are being treated at Reston Hospital for non life-threatening injuries. The other member involved sustained injuries that did not require medical attention. The assailant was taken into captivity at the scene.”