PHOENIX — Police released tape of the 911 call made by the Rev. Joseph Terra after he was badly beaten and his colleague was killed at a Phoenix church.
The tape begins with Terra reporting the assault to a 911 operator. He is clearly short of breath and dazed after being beaten by an unknown assailant.
As the conversation continues, Terra is instructed to perform CPR on the Rev. Kenneth Walker, who was not breathing at the time of the call.
The tape ends shortly after.
Police are investigating the attack that killed Walker and left Terra in critical condition, thought they have been stymied by a lack of usable surveillance video.
Still, investigators have been able to recover forensic evidence from the dead priest’s car and the crime scene that they are hopeful will lead them to a suspect. And they are going door-to-door in the neighborhood looking for witnesses who might have seen something.
The investigation is playing out as parishioners are mourning the loss of Walker, 28, and praying for the recovery of Terra, 56, who was so badly beaten that police were worried he wouldn’t survive the night. He remained in critical but stable condition.
Based on an interview with Terra, police said they believe the suspect is a white male in his 40s but acknowledge it was a “limited description.”
“Unfortunately because of the severity of his injuries, he was only able to provide limited information about one particular suspect,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos said.
Detectives collected surveillance video from buildings in the area, including government facilities near the state Capitol, but they found nothing usable at this point because the cameras weren’t pointed in the direction of the church.
Police are still unsure if there was only one suspect or whether robbery was the motive in the attack at the Mother of Mercy Mission, Martos said. He declined to say whether there was forced entry.
They have been able to rule out several theories, including speculation of a dispute between the priests.
“There’s nothing to indicate that this is priest-on-priest or Father Terra getting into some argument or discussion with Father Walker,” Martos said. “We don’t believe that the evidence that we have come across points in that direction at all.”
A Kansas church is currently accepting prayers, letters, memorials and donations for Walker’s family.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night