Church Robbed at Gunpoint During Services: “How Could You Do That?”
By Darryl Holliday and Josh McGhee | dnainfo.com
GAGE PARK — A week after masked robbers stuck up a Southwest Side church during Sunday services — including putting a gun to a man’s head and pointing a gun at children, parishioners said — members of the congregation turned out in force.
The doubling of attendance Sunday at Roca de Salvacion Church in Gage Park is a sign, church leaders say, that its positive presence is needed more than ever in the neighborhood.
But churchgoers still are in shock that the robbery even happened.
“We were just finishing the service, and they walked inside of a church. How could you do that?” said Leon Alberto, who was robbed during the attack. “Unbelievable. I was amazed.”
The church at 2542 W. 59th St. had been in its current location for just two weeks when two men burst into a service the night of Nov. 11, pointed a gun at women and children and demanded money, co-pastors Moises Marino and David Solis said Sunday afternoon.
Numerous kids were there when a gunman — identified by prosecutors at Matthew Cargo, 19 — tried to rob the congregants, authorities said.
One woman handed over a wad of bills as she tried to shield her children from the masked man, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during Cargo’s bond hearing.
Cargo turned the gun on another parent as the man slipped and fell to the floor in an attempt to get between the gunman and his kids, prosecutors said.
According to police, Cargo stole more than $300 and ran. Only one person has been charged in the holdup, athough church officials said Carge had an accomplice.
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