TULSA, Oklahoma — Tulsa police arrested a suspect who allegedly injured an employee at Holy Family Cathedral’s school in downtown Tulsa with a sword late Oct. 5 and the next day identified him as Daniel Edwards.
Police said Edwards also threw two objects he had set on fire against the side of Holy Family Cathedral, causing damage to some south-facing windows.
News Channel 8, Tulsa’s ABC TV affiliate, reported that Edwards was being held in the Tulsa County jail and likely will face charges for assault and battery with a deadly weapon with intent to do bodily harm, possession of an unregistered destructive device, “among other charges.”
“Yesterday, our parish and school community was targeted by an individual who intended to spread fear and harm,” Father Gary D. Kastl, vicar general of the Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma, wrote in an Oct. 6 open letter to the faithful of the diocese. The priest also is rector of Holy Family Cathedral and Classical School.
“A man carrying an ice chest approached the front of the cathedral and attempted to enter,” Kastl said. “Finding the doors locked, he proceeded down the alley between the school and the cathedral. During this time, students were on the front steps of the cathedral taking school pictures.”
“We express our gratitude and appreciation for the faculty and staff who reacted quickly and immediately moved the students inside the school,” the priest said. “The whole school was immediately placed on lockdown and remained so until cleared by local law enforcement.”
The priest identified the employee whom Edwards is accused of attacking as front desk attendant Rod Notzon, “who confronted the individual and suffered lacerations on his hands after the individual attacked him with what appeared to be a sword.”
Notzon was taken to St. John Hospital and admitted for treatment of his wounds. He was listed in stable condition “and currently recovering,” Kastl said.
The suspect “never approached nor made his way into the school” and was arrested at about 5:30 p.m., the priest said.
“These situations are unsettling and invite us to healing and reflection,” Kastl added.
The cathedral planned to celebrate a morning Mass for Notzon’s healing Oct. 7 at the cathedral, followed by a eucharistic procession around the property’s perimeter. Priests, deacons and counselors also were to be available after Mass for a couple of hours.
“We invite the community to come, pray and heal with us,” the priest said. “I am extremely grateful to our faculty, staff, parish and school administrators for their fast and prudent action to keep everyone safe.”
He also thanked local law enforcement for their leadership and “quick response” to the incident.