Nebraska Priest’s Heartbreaking Final Plea During Fatal Assault

( – Rev. Stephen Gutgsell was a parish priest in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska who was murdered during a break-in at the church which is roughly 10 miles north of Omaha.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call about a potential break-in shortly after it was made around 5 a.m. on Sunday, December 10th. Inside they found the suspect, Kierre Williams, 43, on top of Gutgsell.

Gutgsell, 65, died that morning after being rushed to the hospital in an attempt to save his life. Williams is being held at the county jail on homicide and weapons charges.

Gutgsell had previously been convicted in an unrelated theft case. The archdiocese said that he had made sincere efforts to make up for the crime and had been forgiven by church authorities in the intervening years.

Deputies described hearing calls for help and their discovery of Williams on top of Gutgsell while he yelled for help and struggled with the intruder. Gutgsell had already been wounded several times to his back, face, and arms and the gruesome scene was covered in blood.

They ordered Williams to put his hands up and to allow Gutgsell to crawl away. Other first responders began treating his wounds on scene and en route to a local area hospital. Unfortunately, Gutgsell died at the hospital around 8:20 a.m., just a few short hours after calling 911. The medical examiner ruled that the cause of his death was internal bleeding from the attacker stabbing him repeatedly.

Williams reportedly cooperated with authorities during his arrest but became violent and agitated during the interview at the police station. He allegedly kicked over a table and threatened a deputy. He was held down until a restraint chair was made available so that the interview could continue.

Williams has multiple warrants open. He also had a prior felony conviction in Iowa. He stands charged with first-degree murder, burglary, use of a deadly weapon, and possession of a weapon by a felon.

He’s had prior arrests for DUI, theft, drug-related charges, as well as assault and disorder conduct charges.

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