SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Two people are dead and three others seriously injured in a mass stabbing at a San Jose church Sunday night.
It happened as the church was opening its doors to the homeless to escape the cold weather.
Video shows the scene outside Grace Baptist Church at the corner of San Fernando and South 10th Street near San Jose State University.
Officers arrived on the scene to find five people had been stabbed, two fatally, says Sergeant Christian Camarillo.
Police say a man and a woman were killed but their identities have not been released.
“One of those persons was declared deceased at the scene, a second was transported to a local hospital where they were later declared deceased. Three others are still in the hospital receiving care. They are all in serious but stable condition, we do expect them to survive,” Camarillo said.
An adult male has been arrested in connection with the stabbings.
A motive for the attack is not clear.
At this time, police believe the suspect acted alone, describing what happened as a ‘random act of violence.’
“The church was not conducting any sort of religious service last night, it also used as a shelter for unhoused here in downtown San Jose. The people involved in this incident are directly related or involved with that unhoused shelter situation,” Camarillo said.
A man who had been at the church earlier in the evening, but did not witness the violence, tells KRON4 the church had been opened to help get homeless people inside and out of the cold.
The first officers and firefighters on scene are being credited with saving lives, says Sgt. Camarillo.
“Now this is a very chaotic situation that these officers came into yesterday and the officers, along with the San Jose paramedics, went into this active scene and you know, did a great job rendering first aid to the three surviving victims. Usually the fire department will hang back a little bit and wait for us to secure the scene but last night, we had a lot of brave men and women out here at the scene that more than likely helped save these other three individuals lives,” Camarillo said.
The two stabbings represent the city’s 40th and 41st homicides of the year.
The church released a statement on Monday evening:
We at Grace Baptist are deeply saddened by the terrible incident that happened at our church and to our community. Our hearts hurt as we pray for the dead, injured, and their families.
Since this is an ongoing investigation and we have not been allowed in the church, I do not have many details to share. I do want to thank the SJPD for their rapid response, their diligence to secure the scene and find the perpetrator. We are immensely grateful to our shelter staff.
I do want to say, this is what faith is all about. Faith is risking it all. We risk knowing both the rewards and the reality that there will be problems, pain, and conflict. We are called to this radical hospitality for those who need it the most. This is our Call, our purpose, our mission, and the way we love Jesus.
Please pray for the injured guests and staff, pray for the perpetrator, pray for those guests and staff that were traumatized by this violent incident, pray for our congregation, our community, and especially those that have been deeply affected.
My deepest gratitude to the staff of Grace Solutions for their service and dedication.
Incidents like this is why we do the work we do. Matthew 25:35-37, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”
As a church community, we will continue to be with those that suffer. We will continue to advocate for better mental health and substance use services. We will
continue to provide love, food, clothing, and shelter to those in need. We will continue to visit those in prison.
“It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men.” Frederick DouglasRev. David Robinson, Grace Baptist Church
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