Kierre Williams, a 43-year-old man from nearby Sioux City, Iowa, was arrested in the rectory and charged with homicide and use of a weapon to commit a felony.
According to KETV, the incident took place at St. John the Baptist church, which is located just off Highway 75 in Fort Calhoun, about 16 miles north of the state capital, Omaha.
Shortly after 5 am, deputies with the Washington County Sheriff's Office responded to calls about an attempted break-in at the parish. Upon arrival, they discovered Williams and Gutgsell, the latter suffering from stab wounds.
Gutgsell was taken to Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha to be treated, but passed away a short time later.
Back at the church, Williams was promptly apprehended and taken to the Washington County Jail, where he remains in custody.
In a statement, the Archdiocese of Omaha said its leaders and parishioners were "praying for Father Stephen Gutgsell, who was assaulted during an invasion at the rectory of St. John the Baptist parish in Fort Calhoun early Sunday morning."
"Father Gutgsell was transported to Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, where he died of his injuries," the statement continued. "The Washington County Sheriff's Office is investigating, and there are no further details at this time. Please join Archbishop George Lucas in prayer for the repose of Father Gutgsell, for his family and for the St. John the Baptist parish community in this tragic time."
As WOWT reports, in 2007 Gutgsell pleaded guilty to charges of theft by deception after it was revealed that he had embezzled $127,000 from his church. He was subsequently sentenced to probation and ordered to pay restitution, and the Archdiocese eventually assigned him to a different church.
Sheriff Mike Robinson told the outlet that there was currently no reason to believe the attack was related to the aforementioned crime.
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