Florida Thug Stages Arson Attack on Catholic Church with Parishioners Inside

A Florida manned staged a calculated arson attack on a Marion County Catholic church with the hopes of burning the parishioners inside on Saturday morning.

Steven Shields is accused of intentionally crashing a vehicle into the doors of Queen of Peace Catholic Church, before retrieving a can of gasoline and dumping it throughout the church’s foyer area. He lit a dangerous fire before fleeing the church in his vehicle. Church members had been preparing for Saturday morning liturgy inside the building.

Shields was later apprehended on a county highway. Fortunately, no one appears to have been injured in his arson attack on the church.

Shields is facing a lengthy list of felony charges for the despicable arson attack on the church and those inside. He’s been charged with one account of attempted second-degree murder, arson of a structure where persons are present, burglary, felony fleeing.

He reportedly told Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies that he’s a diagnosed schizophrenic and that he “has a problem” with the Catholic church, claiming his attack on the parish was part of a “mission.”

Sheriff Billy Woods identified the event as an attack of freedom of religion in his county.

Our freedom of worship granted in the Constitution is a freedom that we all hold dear. My deputies and I are sworn to protect that right and will always ensure our citizens can worship in peace. I’m proud of my deputies for capturing this man so quickly and we appreciate the assistance from all of the state and federal agencies that worked alongside us during this investigation.

Shields is being held without bond.