A 21-year-old man has been charged in the fatal stabbing of his mother outside a Rockville, Maryland, Catholic church.
Jaclyn McGuigan, of Marwood Court in Rockville, was seen leaving her home with her son Friday night. Thirty minutes later, police were responding to reports of a deadly assault at Saint Raphael Church, police say. The 49-year-old mother appears to have been stabbed.
Police arrested her son, Kevin Justin McGuigan, about 7 a.m. Saturday in Rockville at a gas station. He is charged with first-degree murder.
Montgomery County police said Jaclyn and her son drove from her home in Rockville about 5:30 p.m. Friday to the church on Dunster Road.
Woman Killed Outside Catholic Church
According to police, witnesses reported hearing loud screaming from the front of the church and saw Kevin standing over his mother.
Police responded about 6 p.m. to reports of an assault and found Jaclyn by the flagpole at the entrance to the church, bleeding and unresponsive. Police say she was likely attacked with a cutting instrument.
Witnesses, officers and first responders tried to help her, but she died at the scene, police say.
Homicide detectives roped off the entrance to the church and looked for surveillance cameras inside and outside.
Police said Kevin McGuigan fled the scene in a Honda sedan registered to his mother. Police found the abandoned Honda at Fallsgrove Park less than an hour later. Kevin McGuigan's belongings were inside, police said.
Police didn't detail a motive in the killing.
"It occurred at a very public place at a busy time in the evening so, it’s, it's very concerning," said Rick Goodale, spokesperson for Montgomery County police.
In a statement to News4, the Archdiocese of Washington said Jaclyn's death did not appear to be connected to the church.
"At this time, we have little information on what happened, but the incident does not appear to be related to the parish or school. The parish staff who were on site this evening have been speaking with the police and they are cooperating with the police investigation. We extend our heartfelt prayers to the individual’s family," the archdiocese said.
The church is across from Ritchie Park Elementary School and next door to an assisted living facility.