(RepublicanDaily.org) – Matthew Lee Richards’ bio on the website of Crossroads Christian Church in Shawnee, Kansas, described him as a “big kid who loves teaching little kids about Jesus.”
Richards’ bio and picture have been taken down following charges of five counts of attempted murder after police tagged him as the main suspect in the stabbing of his whole family – his wife, a 19-year-old son, and four other minor children. Police also say that Richards, a youth pastor, also attempted to burn the family’s house down; he has also been charged with aggravated arson with risk of bodily harm.
Three of his alleged victims have been released from the hospital while three continue to be confined while their injuries are being seen to.
Police did not provide a motive for the attack.
Richards was taken into custody after initially being taken to the hospital after local first-responders arrived at the Richards’ home in the wee hours of the morning. Local authorities were responding to reports of a “disturbance” and a person wielding a knife attacking people, as well as a house fire in the residence. Firefighters and police found Richards’ wife and children in the house with “laceration injuries of varying degrees,” and managed to extinguish the fire, which was in the house’s basement. Both 911 calls for help originated from inside the house.
The 41-year old Richards is being held on a $5 million bond at the Johnson County Adult Detention Center.
As for its part, the Crossroads Christian Church, where Richards served as the Children’s Pastor since 2016, released a statement saying that the church administration was aware of the incident involving Richards and were gathering more information about the incident. It asked observers to be respectful of the situation and called for prayers for the Richards’ family.
Richards is also a 7th grade English teacher at local private Christian school, and before that, was a teacher at a school in Dallas, Texas and at an international school in Austria.
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