Service held to remember priest killed in robbery

Over one year ago, a 28-year-old priest was shot and killed by an intruder who came to the church to rob the rectory. 6/11/15
Over one year ago, a 28-year-old priest was shot and killed by an intruder who came to the church to rob the rectory.

Father Walker was beloved by the community he served.

Prayers and songs in Latin filled the Catholic church where Father Kenneth Walker served.

"We are thankful for the gift of Father Walker, his life, and the mercy of God," said Father Joseph Terra.

Leading the requiem mass, Father Joseph Terra, who delivered Walker's last rites before he died.

"Would I have changed anything? I'm afraid not, it was given by God," said Fr. Terra.

Father Terra says although the tragedy hit the community like a ton of bricks, it brought them together.

"We all shared the hardship, and we did it together as one," he said.

Ex-convict Gary Michael Moran was arrested for the deadly attack. Police say Moran beat Fr. Terra with an iron rod, then shot and killed Fr. Walker, before taking off with money and a car.

Father Terra has said he has forgiven Moran for the unthinkable crimes.

Thursday's mass was attended by those who knew Fr. Walker, and those who were touched by his loss.

"Fr. Walker was a great priest, very kind, and a great example for all of us, I really miss him," said John Paul Thorough.

"It was really a horrible thing to happen; it felt like this was closure for this neighborhood," said Lisa Flores.

Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against Moran. The trial is set to begin in August of 2016. 

Meanwhile, the church has beefed up security, adding wrought iron spikes on the surrounding wall, and increasing lighting.

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