911 call released in Catholic Diocese of Cleveland priest assault

Posted at 2:54 PM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-27 18:20:13-04

A newly released 911 call reveals what happened in the moments after a man brought a gun into a Catholic church in Rocky River earlier this month. 

Two priests talked to a dispatcher in a 911 call on June 11.

They said a man dressed in black, bearing a gun, came to confession and left as people were gathering for 5 p.m. mass.
The first priest to talk to dispatcher twice indicated he did not want to reveal the confession of the suspect, but did say that he had a gun.
The priest who took the confession spoke next, saying the gun had unnerved him. 
"He just had it pointed at me the whole time," the priest said. "I've never done confession with somebody pointing a gun at me the whole time."
The priest said the gunman did not say he would shoot or kill him.
Authorities have released a composite sketch of the suspect. They told clergy to pay special attention to anyone matching his description and to notify local police immediately if they see anyone who looks like him.
The suspect was described as a white man, likely in his late 20s, with pale skin and jet-black, shoulder-length hair that was parted in the center. His hair color was described as unnatural and likely dyed. He wore a pierced, silver, hoop earring in his left nostril, black "skinny" jeans, and black canvas shoes with white trim. The suspect was also depicted as having a tattoo of a cross that flared at each end, located on the inside of his left forearm.
Police advised clergy in the Cleveland metropolitan area to be aware of their personal safety and aware of practical crime prevention methods. 
Multiple sources told the assault took place at St. Christopher Catholic Church on Detroit Road.
Authorities say anyone with information on this case should contact the Rocky River Police, Det. Garth Selong at (440) 799-8352 or Lt. Bill Crates at (440) 331-1234, ext. 2153.