A 21-year-old man turned a somber altar call inside the Hillvue Heights Baptist Church in Bowling, Kentucky, into a bloody horror show Sunday when he stabbed his 40-year-old father multiple times after he was allegedly encouraged to pray.
A WBKO report said the man, Ethan Buckley, went berserk on his father David Buckley after he was reportedly moved by the message.
"Bowling Green Police received a call that there had been a stabbing during the church service," Bowling Green Police Information Officer Rick Bessette told WBKO.
Bessette explained that Ethan Buckley and his father were sitting near the center of the congregation at the 9:30 a.m. service when the altar call was given. Buckley suddenly brandished a knife and began violently stabbing his father.
"Members of the congregation along with the on-site security were able to detain him until police arrived," Bessette added.
A police citation released Monday and highlighted by the Bowling Green Daily News said Ethan Buckley told police he was "moved by the message" Sunday morning before stabbing his father multiple times in the neck. He told police he'd had thoughts of killing his father during the service before the attack. He explained that his intention was to kill David Buckley, and he tried to cut his father's jugular vein so that his death would be painless.
Witnesses told WBKO that the stabbing occurred after the father tried to get his son to pray with him at the altar. Bowling Green Police did not confirm that account or respond to questions regarding Ethan Buckley's mental stability.
According to the Bowling Green Daily News, after the stabbing the 11 a.m. service at the church was canceled leaving shocked churchgoers hugging, weeping and grappling for answers.
"It's scary, but in today's society this can happen anywhere. I felt like the Lord was protecting us," said Alicia Bell of Bowling Green, who was on one of the side rows of the sanctuary. "I'm glad that my family and I are OK, and I'm praying for anybody that was hurt."
David C. Buckley, 40, was transported to The Medical Center at Bowling Green after the stabbing but while he is alive, details of his condition were unknown Monday morning, said the Bowling Green Daily News.
Brent Duvall of Bowling Green told the publication that he was at the altar when the stabbing occurred.
"I was praying at the altar when I heard a commotion. I thought it was someone going into cardiac arrest or a seizure. I found out it wasn't that," he said.
Duvall said he saw people tackle the knife wielding man to the ground.
"He was being very combative," added Duvall who explained the attack is a symptom of what's happening in the world right now.
"It's a lost and fallen world we live in," he said. "It shouldn't surprise us."
Ethan Buckley is being held in the Warren County Regional Jail in Bowling Green. Warren District Judge Sam Potter set his bond at $500,000 Monday and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Friday.