Catholic News Agency:
Florida man lights Catholic Church on fire with parishioners inside.
A Florida man lit a Catholic Church aflame on Saturday, while people inside prepared for morning Mass.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported July 11 that deputies were called at about 7:30 am to Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala, while parishioners inside prepared for morning Mass.
A man crashed a minivan through the front door of the church, and then lit a fire with people inside, the sheriff’s department said. One local media outlet, Orlando News 6, reported that man set the building ablaze by throwing an incendiary device.
The sheriff’s office said the man led officers on a vehicle chase and was eventually apprehended. The arsonist’s name has not been released, and charges have not yet been filed, but local media report that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is assisting in the investigation.
A deputy saw the van leaving the area and chased it. He eventually used a P.I.T. maneuver to get the van to stop. The suspect, Steven Anthony Shields, was then arrested.