A member of the Church of Scientology in Sydney, Australia, has been stabbed to death outside the church by a 16-year-old youth.
As reported by CNN, the teenage boy has been arrested after stabbing one man in the neck and slashing at another on Thursday outside the Australian headquarters of the religious organization, the Advanced Organization Saint Hill Scientology.
The attack occurred when the two victims were escorting the boy off the premises of the church. He reportedly pulled a kitchen knife out of his pocket and attacked them both. Police believe there was a “domestic incident” inside the church on Wednesday that led the men to their attempt to remove him from the building on Thursday.
“He was being escorted out, being walked out, and for some reason, he’s removed a knife and caused the injuries that resulted in this tragedy,” North Shore Police Detective Chief Inspector Simon Jones alleged.
The two injured men were rushed to the Royal North Shore Hospital, but the man who was stabbed in the neck passed away at the medical facility a short while later from his injuries. He was in his 20s. A spokesperson for the church was able to confirm that the deceased victim was a member of the church.
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In the meantime, the teenage suspect was arrested by the New South Wales police at the scene of the crime, according to the department of law enforcement.
“This very unfortunate matter is in the hands of the police,” spokesman Kei Sato said in a statement. “We cannot make any further comment beyond the fact that the victim was a beloved member of our church. The church is providing the police with any assistance needed in their investigation.”
According to a report by 7News, the 24-year-old Taiwanese victim was a staff member at the church. The second victim, a 30-year-old member of the church, has been treated for “minor cuts to his hands” and has been released from the hospital. He is expected to give police a statement shortly.
The incident that led to the tragedy is believed to be a church member’s family dispute. While it is believed to have started on Wednesday, it escalated on Thursday into the stabbing.
“It was a domestic incident, it does not, as far as I know, relate to the Scientology premises here,” Detective Chief Inspector Jones said.
The suspect was taken to the Chatswood police station with his mother.