The New York Police Department reported that at around 7:55 p.m., a man walked into St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan with gas cans and lighter fluid, and was subsequently apprehended” by the NYPD’s Counterterrorism division “without incident. We thank our partners for their help, and remember – if you see something, say something.
Marc Lamparello, 37, was identified by NBC New York police sources. He was described as an “emotionally disturbed person.”
The New York Post, citing sources, initally reported Lamparello “entered the Midtown church and was near the pews when he was spotted and grabbed by security.”
But the Archdiocese of New York said in a statement that the man was stopped by security before he got inside.
“The individual was stopped as he tried to come into the cathedral. Was turned over to the police. Nothing happened inside the cathedral,” the statement said.
At a press briefing, NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller said Lamparello told officers that he was “…cutting through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue – that his car had ran out of gas.” It was not.
“At that point, he was taken into custody and brought to the Midtown North stationhouse,” Miller said.
Miller said investigators are “looking into his background obviously, talking to a couple of other agencies.”
The incident comes just two days after the Cathédrale Notre-Dame in Paris, France erupted in flames causing serious damage to the 700-year-old medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. Notre-Dame is a church consecrated to the Virgin Mary. The French Gothic architecture.of the cathedral is among the world’s finest and most well-known.
Earlier Wednesday night, the NYPD tweeted it was investigating an incident at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Expect a heavy police presence. Update to follow.”
This is Holy Week and St Patrick’s Cathedral grieved over the fire at Notre-Dame, the cause of which is still under investigation but French authorities believe it may have been accidental, as the ancient church undergoes renovations.
“The bells of St. Patrick’s rang at 12:50 PM today, marking the start of yesterday’s devastating fire at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. Cathedrals and churches throughout #France and the world rang their bells in honor of the great spiritual & cultural heritage of Notre-Dame.”
Holy Week services at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan draw thousands. Indeed, a lottery was held for tickets to attend the Easter Solemn Mass.
Holy Thursday services at St. Patrick’s, including a 12 noon mass and a Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 5:30 p.m.
The cornerstone of St. Patrick’s Cathedral was laid in 1858 and its doors opened in 1879.