A man was shot and killed by Santa Ana police on Sunday afternoon after wielding a handgun inside a Catholic church, according to authorities.
The man, who has not been identified but is thought to be a Santa Ana resident, appeared at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on Center Street in between Masses, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. About 15 people were there at the time.
Several people flagged down an officer who just happened to be outside the church at 4:15 p.m. and informed him of the man with the gun. The officer found the man inside the church and shot him, Bertagna said. It wasn’t yet clear what caused the officer to fire his weapon.
The man ran from the church and died in a street about 100 yards away, authorities said.
Bertagna said the man was distraught over a family issue and possibly suicidal.
“Why he chose to come to the church, we don’t know at this point,” Bertagna said. Investigators have not disclosed whether the man’s gun was loaded.
Parishioners reported that there may have been a second man with a gun, but officers were unable to locate another suspect in the neighborhood.
The name of the officer who shot the man has not been released.