Two Longview churches targeted with racist graffiti - KPTV - FOX 12

Two Longview churches targeted with racist graffiti

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Racist graffiti being cleaned from a wall at Trinity Lutheran Church in Longview. (KPTV) Racist graffiti being cleaned from a wall at Trinity Lutheran Church in Longview. (KPTV)
One of the tagged walls at Trinity Lutheran Church in Longview. (KPTV) One of the tagged walls at Trinity Lutheran Church in Longview. (KPTV)
LONGVIEW, WA (KPTV) -

Two Longview churches were the targets of racist graffiti early Monday morning, and while the two suspects haven’t been caught, they were captured on surveillance video.

The footage shows two people lurking around Trinity Lutheran Church and St. Rose, a Catholic church half a mile away.

The suspects spray-painted racist symbols and messages including swastikas, SS symbols and a racial slur against African Americans.

Luckily, most of the graffiti was easily cleaned up, but some members at Trinity Lutheran were working Tuesday to power wash the rest of it away.

“It was wrong what they did and I hope they get caught and punished for it,” said church member Bob Nelsen.

While police look for the suspects, people at both churches are left wondering why they were targeted.

“We have a very diverse congregation here, many different ethnicities come here so to see something racially explicit was very disheartening,” said Father Bryan Ochs at St. Rose Catholic Church.

Making matters worse, St. Rose also runs a parish school and the offensive graffiti was discovered by a teacher before young kids – from eighth grade down to preschool – started to arrive for class.

“Many of our students and their families, as they arrived, saw what was written,” Father Ochs said.

Police said the people responsible could face misdemeanor or felony charges of malicious harassment. They’re asking anyone who saw anything that can help to give them a call.

In the meantime, there’s one thing that is clear: in places built on love, hate will never stand.

“We pray for the people who commit these crimes and pray for their conversion,” Father Ochs said. “And hopefully those prayers will be answered one day.”

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