National News

Apr 30, 2013 12:13 PM by NBC News

Neighbors can't understand why Albuquerque man went on stabbing spree during church service

(KOB) We are beginning to learn more about Lawrence Capener, the man accused of stabbing four people at a church in Albuquerque on Sunday.

In some ways, he seems like a man suffering from obvious mental issues, but a neighbor says the Lawrence Capener she knew was a nice, normal guy.

"Lawrence has always been very respectful, very helpful. I've never seen him lose his temper," said next door neighbor Mercedes Reynolds.

But parishioners at St. Jude Thaddeus say instead they saw anger and hate in his eyes as he stabbed four people during Sunday mass.

Albuquerque police said he confessed to targeting the choir's director, Adam Alvarez, because the devil sent a message through the microphone every time Alvarez sang.

Capener had an outburst during his first appearance in court Monday afternoon.

He screamed, "I'm Lawrence Capener!"

It's clear his home in Northwest Albuquerque is that of a devout Catholic family.

When asked if he had something to say about Capener, a man at the family's home only responded, "We're having a hard time right now."

Next door neighbor Mercedes Reynolds said she spoke with Capener's mom, a Eucharist minister at St. Jude Thaddeus.

"She's just really really upset. She's real real devastated. Because I know she's a true true, strong strong Catholic," said Reynolds.

To Reynolds, Capener is the respectful young man next door who puppy sat for her.

As for a possible motive, Reynolds said Capener was really affected after he lost his job at a nearby Dollar Tree store about three weeks ago.

Reynolds says Capener told her he wanted to wear a hat to block the sun when he worked as a cashier, but he was told he couldn't so he quit.

She add he was happier recently after getting a job at Walmart.

"I just think he's had a lot of pressure and it was just too much for him," said Reynolds. "I think the public needs to stop and think that it might be one of their children that does that and they wouldn't like the bad publicity and people talking about them."

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