Watch CBS News

Police interrupt morning mass at Placentia Catholic church searching for armed suspect

SWAT team takes down suspected gunman during mass at Orange County church
SWAT team takes down suspected gunman during mass at Orange County church 02:14

Morning mass at an Orange County church was abruptly interrupted by police Tuesday as officers barged into St. Joseph Church, telling parishioners to put their hands up as they searched for a man with a gun.

Livestream video from inside St. Joseph Church at the time police entered, searching for an armed suspect. St. Joseph Church

According to the Placentia Police Department, police got a call around 8:20 a.m. of a possible gunshot in the 700 block of Bradford Avenue.

Another call came in of a man with a gun, and witnesses said the man went into St. Joseph's Church.

The Catholic church's livestream video captured the incident, with the shouts of police officers halting Holy Communion, and showing parishioners with their hands up, following police commands.

"Get on the ground! Get on the ground!," the officers can be heard shouting over and over, with a livestream capturing the shocked reactions of parishioners and church officials, several of whom threw their hands into the air as they sat in pews. 

Police did find a man matching the suspect description sitting in one of the back pews, but did not find a gun. They took the man into custody, and nobody was injured. Parishioner Imelda Craig describes the unusual morning at church.

"I heard a commotion at the back, so I turned around and then I saw the officers came and took the guy, which is a couple of rows behind me, took him down," Craig said.  "He was wearing a tank top, and looked like he just blended in."

Nearby schools, Valencia High School, Ruby Drive Elementary and Kraemer Middle School  were told to shelter in place throughout the morning.

There were no injuries reported and police continued their investigation, searching for other possible suspects and the weapon into the afternoon. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.