Multiple people were injured during a Bible study session on Saturday afternoon when an alleged member of the congregation stabbed the church's pastor before being stopped by the area’s police chief who happened to be in attendance.
The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon at around 3 p.m. at the Grace Covenant Church in Chantilly, Virginia, about 25 miles west of Washington, D.C. when a member of the church stabbed the church’s pastor who was leading a Bible study class at the time.
Two church members reportedly came to the defense of the pastor, including Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler who happened to be at Grace Covenant at the right time.
A witness of the stabbing spoke to ABC News’ Washington, D.C. affiliate WJLA and described the chaotic scene.
“He did his part in the moment,” the female witness said. “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.”
According to WJLA, Ed Roessler is a 31-year law enforcement veteran who has been in a leadership position with Fairfax County Police since 2010 and also worked at the most recent presidential inauguration in 2017.
Brett Fuller, another pastor at the Grace Covenant 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.”
Said Fuller: “We are in prayer for all the injured. We are grateful for the courage exhibited that prevented worse from happening. Lastly, we want to thank the broader community for their outpouring of concern and support in this time.”
Two people were treated for non-serious non-life-threatening injuries at nearby Reston Hospital and the unnamed suspect was taken into custody.