Iowa man identified as suspect in fatal stabbing of Nebraska priest

Kierre L. Williams, 43, of Sioux County, Iowa, was apprehended for the murder of Rev. Stephen Gutgsell, 65, during a break-in at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church's rectory in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska.

Iowa man identified as suspect in fatal stabbing of Nebraska priest
Daily Mail
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The man accused of fatally stabbing a Catholic priest in a small Nebraska town has been identified.

Kierre L. Williams, 43, of Sioux County, Iowa, was apprehended for the murder of Rev. Stephen Gutgsell, 65, during a break-in at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church's rectory in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, according to police reports, per KTIV

Williams faces charges of homicide and using a weapon to commit a felony, as declared by the Washington County Sheriff.

Rev. Gutgsell, aged 65, made an emergency call around 5 a.m., reporting an attempted break-in at the rectory.

Upon arrival, authorities discovered Rev. Gutgsell wounded and an alleged assailant present. The motive behind Williams' attack on Gutgsell remains uncertain.

Rev. Gutgsell was transported to a hospital in Omaha, where he succumbed to his stab wounds, according to statements from church authorities.

The accused individual was detained at the Washington County Jail, with the sheriff's office confirming that the investigation continues.

Sheriff's department representatives noted that the suspect is not a local resident, with no known ties to Fort Calhoun or Nebraska in general.

A declaration from the area's church mentioned, "The Washington County Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation, and currently, no additional information is available."

"Please join Archbishop George Lucas in prayer for the repose of Father Gutgsell, for his family and for the St. John the Baptist parish community in this tragic time," the church's statement read.

Mike Fitzgerald, a congregant of St. John the Baptist Church, reported that the regular 8:30 am church service was cancelled. Sharing this information with the Omaha World Herald he said, "Father Gutgsell, who had been with us for 11 years, was, in my opinion, a very devout man."

"He did a lot of things for the community. He always made sure that the (church) bulletin had everything in it that we needed to know about things going on at the church."

The sheriff's department assured that there is no current danger to the community and confirmed that the investigation is still in progress.

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