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Nebraska Priest Killed in Church Residence Attack

Catholic priest Stephen Gutgsell lost his life after being attacked at the rectory of St. John the Baptist of a Catholic Church in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska.  The assault occurred during what authorities described as an invasion of the church, leading to a devastating outcome that has left the community in grief.

The Archdiocese of Omaha confirmed the unfortunate incident in a statement released on Sunday. As per reports, police received a 911 call reporting an attempted break-in at the church just after 5 am. Upon arrival, officers discovered Father Gutgsell injured, and an alleged attacker was apprehended at the scene.

Tragedy at Fort Calhoun Church

Despite being rushed to an Omaha hospital for treatment, Father Stephen Gutgsell succumbed to his injuries, leaving the small community of Fort Calhoun, with a population of about 1,000 people, in shock and mourning. 

The town is located approximately 20 miles north of Omaha Washington County Sheriff Mike Robinson released a statement emphasizing that the investigation is ongoing, and details such as the suspect’s name and the manner of death will not be disclosed at this time.

It is worth noting that Father Stephen Gutgsell had a history that included a 2007 guilty plea to theft by deception involving the embezzlement of $127,000 from another church in the area. Despite this, he was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay restitution. Church leaders at the time expressed that Gutgsell had learned from his mistakes, admitted wrongdoing, and sought forgiveness. Subsequently, he was reassigned to another church.

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Questions in Nebraska Priest Tragic Death

Catholic priest Stephen Gutgsell lost his life after being attacked at the rectory of St John the Baptist of a Catholic Church in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska.

In a separate case, earlier this year, Father Stephen Gutgsell’s brother and fellow priest, Michael Gutgsell, also pleaded guilty to theft charges.  Michael served as the chancellor of the Omaha Archdiocese from 1994 until 2003.

Authorities, however, have stated that they do not believe Stephen Gutgsell’s tragic death is linked to his past criminal history.  Questions regarding this matter remain unanswered as the investigation unfolds.

The Archdiocese of Omaha, through spokesperson Riley Johnson, confirmed the relationship between the two brothers but refrained from providing further comments.  As the community grapples with the loss of Father Gutgsell, the investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death continues, leaving many awaiting more details in the coming days.

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