Parishioners emerged from mass at a Catholic church Christmas morning to find hateful messages left behind and windows shattered.
The vandalism happened at the Holy Cross Catholic Church near 44th and North Shirley Street in Tacoma.
Six windows were broken.
found the damage after midnight mass and police said papers with
hateful messages and pictures were left at the scene.
members told police similar incidents have happened there before and
there’s a protection order against man who has vandalized the church
several times over the last few years.
Officers went to that man’s house Tuesday but he wasn’t there.
Tacoma police said they are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
One parishioner said people are upset and worried that the attacks keep happening.
is an older parish and we have a 24-hour adoration chapel where you
have people coming in and out to pray 24 hours. It’s got people
worried,” said Steve Mullen, who stayed at the church all night to make
sure the vandal didn't return.
Though the large shattered
windows are now covered with cardboard, the vandalism didn't stop
another scheduled mass because they are part of the parish hall that’s
attached to the main part of the church.
Several people at the church said the man responsible for past incidents may suffer from mental illness.