A man has been taken into police custody after stabbing an elderly priest at a Catholic church in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, local authorities reported on Friday.
The police of Gia Lai’s An Khe Town on Thursday night arrested Tran Trong Ca, a 30-year-old man, for assaulting a 70-year-old priest and setting fire to the An Khe Parish church, Nguyen Hung Vy, chairman of the town’s People’s Committee, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday morning.
The crime happened on Thursday noon, when Ca arrived at the church in a pickup truck.
He then used a machete and two knives, which he had brought along, to damage two cars in the church’s parking lot, breaking the glass of these vehicles.
Ca later came into the church and chased the 70-year-old priest Tran Van Truyen and 44-year-old Nguyen Van Tung, a vendor of drinks in the vicinity, who had run away when seeing him rushing to them.
The man caught up with the two victims after running for 50 meters and used a knife to stab both of them in the belly.
Immediately after the assault, Ca drove his vehicle to a nearby gas station to buy about 18 liters of gasoline contained in a can. He then returned to the church and set it on fire with the fuel.
As soon as receiving a report from the witnesses of Ca’s acts, the police of the town’s An Phu Ward rushed to the scene and joined locals in putting down the fire, which had singed the church door.
Locals took both the victims to the Binh Dinh General Hospital, over 90km away from Gia Lai, for emergency aid.
Meanwhile, Ca left the scene for home in his vehicle but the local police arrested him shortly.
Investigation into the case is ongoing.