Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said the city was shocked and saddened as police pleaded for the public’s help in identifying the suspects.
“The tragedy that occurred last night at the Mother of Mercy Mission church strikes at our core because every American should feel safe in a house of worship — and that basic value was violated last night in an unspeakable way,” Stanton said.
Terra and Walker served as pastor and assistant pastor, respectively, at the church, which is located along a gritty stretch of downtown Phoenix. Adamson said both men believed the church “was a safe place to live.”
“Father Terra is a pretty strong man. He’s not afraid of anybody,” Adamson said.
They both belonged to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, and one of its hallmarks is leading Mass in Latin for worshippers.
Rorate Caeli, an online blog widely read in Vatican circles, said Walker was born in upstate New York near Poughkeepsie. He was the middle child among a family of 11 children. He was ordained in May 2012.
Associated Press writer Terry Tang contributed to this report.