Police identify suspect in Phoenix priest attacks

Gary Michael Moran (Courtesy: NBC News)
Gary Michael Moran (Courtesy: NBC News)

PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities have identified a 54-year-old convict arrested in the killing of a Roman Catholic priest and the beating of a second priest at a downtown Phoenix church.

Booking records show Gary Michael Moran is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, burglary and armed robbery, among others charges.

Court records show Moran was released from prison in April after serving about eight years for aggravated assault and other charges.

Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos announced the arrest Monday. A news conference is planned for midday.

The priests were attacked at the Mother of Mercy Mission Wednesday night. The Rev. Kenneth Walker was shot and killed. The Rev. Joseph Terra was badly beaten and remains hospitalized.

Authorities have said they collected forensic evidence from the crime scene they hoped would help identify the suspect.

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