A Catholic priest, Father Peter Ayala, was found dead on Sunday morning in his apartment inside the St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church, Sobe, in Owan West Local Government, Edo State.
Ayala, who was due to say the morning mass at 7am, was said to be cleaning his double-barrel when it reportedly went off and killed him.
It was gathered that the incident took place when some of the worshippers had already gathered for worship.
Our correspondent was told that when the gun went off, mass servers and some church elders went to the father’s apartment to know what was wrong. They found the priest lying in a pool of blood. The development reportedly threw the church into confusion.
The Church elders were said to have reported the incident to the Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Dr Gabriel Duniya, who also was told by security agents that the priest died when the rifle he was cleaning went off.
It was gathered on Monday that the community was still mourning as residents gathered near the church premises.
Edo State Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Eguavoen, confirmed the incident.
He said, “The incident is unfortunate. The state command is yet to the get full details of what transpired before the priest’s death.”