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Suspect arrested in Phoenix priest’s fatal shooting

PHOENIX — Bail was set at $1 million Monday for the man accused of fatally shooting one priest and brutally beating another at a Phoenix church.

Gary Michael Moran, 54, was charged with the first-degree murder of Rev. Kenneth Walker at Mother of Mercy Mission Catholic church near 15th Avenue and Monroe Street last week.

Rev. Joseph Terra was also attacked, but survived. He is expected to recover.

Police arrested Moran late Sunday based on DNA evidence lifted from a van belonging to the church that was taken from the site but found several blocks away.

Moran also was charged with first-degree burglary and armed robbery with a deadly weapon. In court documents, Moran told police that he shot one of the priests after the man came to the aid of the priest struggling with Moran in a hallway.

Walker was shot with a gun that was inside a rectory bedroom.

According to the state’s Department of Corrections website, Moran had been in prison on aggravated assault charges from 2006 until late April.

Police said late last week that they were looking for a white male in his early to late 40s. Terra was only able to give a brief description of the attacker.

Walker, 28, and Terra, 56, were attacked in the church rectory. Terra managed to call 911 to report a break-in. He told the dispatcher that Walker wasn’t breathing.

A High Mass will be held Monday at 10 a.m. for Walker at St. Catherine of Siena Parish at Central Avenue near and Southern Avenue.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.