Authorities identify victims of Anna church attack - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Authorities identify victims of Anna church attack

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By Heartland News & AP

UPDATE:

ANNA, IL (KFVS) - Authorities have released the names of the two victims of Monday's violent attack inside the First Baptist Church of Anna.

One victim has been identified as Mary Shepard, 69, who serves as the church secretary and treasurer.  The second is Leona Mount, 76, a cleaning woman.  Both were rushed to the hospital to receive care for their injuries.

Authorities say two women were attacked and severely injured inside a church in the small southern Illinois community of Anna.

Mount was taken to a St. Louis hospital to be treated for her injuries.  Shepard is being treated in Cape Girardeau.

Police found Shepard in a church office and Mount in a classroom.

Pastor Tony Foeller says new secrutiy measures have already been put into place at the church.  He says services will continue as scheduled.

Both women were listed in stable condition.  Authorities say their injuries are not considered life-threatening. 

Tony Foeller says the motives behind the attack aren't clear. He notes that nothing was taken.

Further information will be posted as it becomes available. 

PREVIOUS STORY:

ANNA, IL (KFVS) - Emergency crews rushed two women to St. Francis Medical Center Monday night after a violent attack in Anna, IL.

Police said someone broke into the Anna First Baptist church between 2:00 to 4:15 p.m. and attacked the women.

Anna police chief Dale Foster told Heartland News robbery appeared to be the motive. Chief Foster said a person or persons went into the church through a door that's kept unlocked. Police said the suspect then assaulted the two women who work there.

Chief Foster said the women are in their late 60's. The church pastor discovered the women in the office and called police shortly after 4. Foster said the pastor was also in the church at the time of the assault but didn't hear any commotion because his door was shut and the air condition unit was running.

Crime scene investigators were on scene most of the evening Monday looking for clues and going door to door to talk to neighbors. Authorities said they don't have a lot of information and people who live near the church at the corner of Morgan and High streets need to be on guard.

Church Deacons plan on holding a prayer service for the two women Tuesday near the church.

Anna First posted this message on their website.  "On Monday afternoon, September 28th, two of our church employees were brutally attacked and beaten. Both ladies were taken immediately to a local hospital then subsequently air-lifted to the trauma center at St. Francis Hospital in Cape Girardeau, MO. One of the ladies is still at St. Francis under observation in the ICU. The other lady was air-lifted to St. Louis University Hospital and is awaiting surgery. Both are now stable and doing as well as can be expected. Please check back for updates throughout the day as they become available. Your prayers are appreciated."

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