Man Survives Shooting at St. Brenden's
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER12- Call it divine intervention. A despondent male who attempted suicide inside a house of worship has been given a second chance-- after shooting himself in the chest.
Police officers from the 52nd Precinct responded to a call of gunfire inside the Church of St. Brendan's at 260 E. 207 Street at Perry Avenue in Norwood, at 8:15 a.m., on Friday, September 6.
Police and EMS sources say the victim was discovered at the alter with a hole in his chest. The weapon, a .45 caliber pistol lay nearby.
The still unidentified 53-year-old man was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he remains in serious, but stable condition.
Investigators believe the man, who was possibly homeless, had entered the church the day before. A police spokeswoman stated, "It appears that he hid himself before it was closed."
The church remained closed the entire day as police officials conducted the investigation, completed sometime around 10 p.m. Parishioners were allowed to pray in the lower church on the E. 206 Street side.
Detectives were showing a photo of the man to the staff and members of the church, who arrived to find crime scene tape across the front door and a sign instructing members to enter around the corner.
One church member offered, "It's a minor miracle. The fact that he did it in a church means he's a believer." The elderly woman, who did not want to give her name, added, "Now he has a second chance."
The church re-opened in time for a noon mass on Saturday.
Repeated calls to the Church of St. Brendan's were not returned as was a request for comment from the Archdiocese of New York.
Founded in 1908, Archbishop John Farley named his new church in honor of the Irish navigator.