BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A Kentucky man stabbed his father with a knife as they were visiting a Baptist church on Sunday.
Ethan Buckley, 21, has been charged with first-degree assault and domestic violence after stabbing his father, David Buckley, 40, in the neck at Hillvue Heights Church in Bowling Green.
The two had been visiting the church when suddenly the younger Buckley pulled out a knife, reportedly being “moved by the message.” He told police that he had been having thoughts of killing his father, and that when he stabbed him with a pocket knife during the service, he sought to go for the jugular so his father’s death would be painless.
“I was praying at the altar when I heard a commotion,” member Brent Duvall told the Bowling Green Daily News. “I thought it was someone going into cardiac arrest or a seizure.”
Member Chris Allen, who saw the attack unfold from the balcony, told local television station WBKO that he called out “knife” to alert others in the service.
Several security officers immediately tackled Buckley, including co-pastor Jamie Ward. Some members, being frightened, ran for the door.
“Everybody went into immediate action,” member Pam Merry told reporters. “My first thought was to make sure my grandson was safe.”
Buckley was taken into custody, but was “very combative” in the process. He is being held in Warren County Regional Jail at $500,000 bail and is expected to appear for a preliminary hearing on Friday.
The father, David Buckley, was transported to The Medical Center at Bowling Green, and while his condition is unknown, he survived the attack.
The 11 a.m. service was canceled and the sanctuary was cleared following the bloody assault. Members hugged each other and cried as they processed what had just taken place.
“I’m still really shaken up. Church is the one place you think that you’d be safe,” said member Ashlyn Rice. “Now I don’t even know what to think.”
“It’s a lost and fallen world we live in,” Duvall stated. “It shouldn’t surprise us.”
Police have described the stabbing as an isolated domestic incident.