Man stabs pastor during bible study in Virginia church; Police chief takes down attacker

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Sunday, July 19, 2020
Pastor stabbed during Bible study; Police chief injured taking down attacker
A pastor was stabbed during a Bible study and the local police chief was injured taking down the attacker.

The police chief of Virginia's biggest county was injured when subduing a suspect who stabbed two people, including a pastor, at a church.

The peaceful Saturday Bible study at Grace Covenant Church in Chantilly turned violent when a man walked in and stabbed the pastor leading the class, WJLA reported.

Two parishioners came to his defense, including Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roussler, who was at the church at the time.

According to WJLA, Roessler is a 31-year law enforcement veteran who has been in a leadership position with Fairfax County Police since 2010 and also worked at the most recent presidential inauguration in 2017.

The two men injured were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect, 32-year-old Chance Harrison, was charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding, one count of felony assault on a police officer, and one count of misdemeanor assault, WJLA reported.

Catherine McGuire, a member of Grace Covenant, said she's thankful for Roussler's bravery.

"He did his part in the moment but sometimes we can't prevent injury," she said. "I know people were injured but it could have been worse I believe ... it could've been a lot worse."

Brett Fuller, a senior pastor at the church and chaplain to Washington, D.C.'s NFL franchise, released a statement following the stabbing.

"Today, in a routine church educational setting, one of our pastors was assaulted by an attendee," Fuller said. "Two church members came to the pastor's aid and valiantly risked their own lives to defend him. In the process, one of our members was injured. The pastor and one of the members are being treated at Reston Hospital for non life-threatening injuries. The other member involved sustained injuries that did not require medical attention. The assailant was taken into captivity at the scene."