Parishioner stabbed outside SF North Beach church, police say

J.R. Stone Image
Monday, April 22, 2024
Parishioner stabbed outside SF North Beach church: police
A parishioner was stabbed in the leg outside of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in San Francisco's North Beach on Sunday, police said.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A scary situation unfolded in the heart of San Francisco's North Beach Sunday when a church parishioner was stabbed in the leg, according to witnesses.

It happened outside of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, one of San Francisco's most well-known churches, just before 1 p.m.

"Attention units, your suspect has black shorts, unknown length of the knife, they're in the middle of the street right now," is what was initially be heard on the police scanner.

Church leaders at North Beach's Saints Peter and Paul Church tell ABC7 News that the eventual suspect, who they believe is unhoused, first came inside during a confirmation service. The Archbishop of San Francisco was there along with a very large congregation. Due to safety concerns, leaders escorted the man outside. Witnesses say he then began speaking with someone saying, "Jesus is not real," end quote.

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Those witnesses went on to say that a short time later, that man stabbed a church parishioner in the street. The man's wife then called 911.

Church leaders tell us that several people held the stabbing suspect down on the street until police arrived.

The man was arrested but many community members we spoke with across the street in Washington Square are angry.

"These people are not looking for help, they are just whacked out of their mind, whether it be drugs or whatever it is and the city is not doing anything about it," said Vincent Lam who attended Saints Peter and Paul School as a kid.

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Church leaders say they believe another unhoused individual came in a short time earlier during the confirmation service. The man was seen walking up and down the main aisle with a bottle of wine. He eventually left but his actions had some on edge, only to then have this second incident.

Regina Scolaro's son goes to school at Saints Peter and Paul and says she's frustrated with the city right now, but not surprised by this.

"Until we figure out how to solve this problem and solve it with compassion, and also crack down on things for people that need to really understand that there are consequences to their behavior," said Scolaro.

San Francisco police say charges against the stabbing suspect are pending and the victim's injuries are non-life threatening.

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