Homeless woman attacked at Virginia church; bishop issues statement

Posted May 11, 2012

[Diocese of Virginia] Bishop Shannon S. Johnston of the Diocese of Virginia has issued a statement regarding an attack on a homeless woman that took place at Church of the Holy Cross in Dunn Loring, Virginia, on May 10. The full text is below.


May 11, 2012

Today, we learned the distressing news of an attack and robbery of a homeless woman on the steps of Church of the Holy Cross, Dunn Loring Thursday night. She later suffered a heart attack, and remains in hospital care today. The victim is being cared for in a personal way by the congregation.

Importantly, no one on the staff of the church or anyone connected with the day school was in danger at any time. We are very much aware that, because of the recent shooting tragedy at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Ellicott City, there is a heightened sensitivity and awareness to such issues.

While it is important not to overreact to this attack, we do not want to minimize it. It points to a pressing need for precaution and preparation whenever the church serves the needs of the general public.

Holy Cross is cooperating fully with the police investigation. Our diocesan staff stands ready to support Holy Cross in any way.  Please keep the victim and the members of the church and local community in your prayers.


The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston

Church of the Holy Cross’ statement is here.