Two attacks on religious institutions in WNY

Sep 5, 2015

As three young people prepare to turn themselves in for an alleged bias crime, the question of who bombed a church in Getzville early Saturday morning remains unanswered.

Investigators from the Amherst Police and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms working to find out, after a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the Chapel at Crosspoint. Amherst Police and the Getzville Fire Department responded to an automatic fire alarm around 5:30 a.m. Patrol Lieutenant Eric Davis of the Amherst Police Department described the response.

"Upon the police arrival we discovered that there was a glass door that was shattered and a fire in the vestibule that appeared to be started from a Molotov cocktail,” said Davis.

The Chapel at Crosspoint
Credit Google Maps / Google

There are security cameras around the area where the bomb was thrown, but Davis said it is not yet known what evidentiary value their footage will provide.

Davis said there is no indication of a suspect at this time. He responded to the question of whether the church may have faced threats in the past or have current enemies by saying, ““The investigation is continuing. There will have to be some interviews are conducted, but none that we’re aware of at this time.”

No speculations are being made as to motive, but Davis said anything could be a possibility.

The fire was ultimately contained by internal sprinkler systems, but caused an estimated $10,000 in damage.

Anyone with information on the incident at the Chapel at Crosspoint is asked to call (716) 689-1364.

In Orleans County, three people under the age of 21 are preparing to surrender to authorities next week. The three were questioned by Sheriff's Deputies in connection with the burning of crosses into the lawn of the World Sufi Foundation Mosque in Waterport on Thursday night. The incident is being considered a bias crime, but further investigation could elevate the charge to a hate crime.