A 29-year-old man accused of the shotgun slaying of a priest and two other men in a church had been taken to psychiatric wards twice last month and sought after his arrest to call the pope, according to court documents.
Bryan Stanley of Onalaska, Wis., also telephoned a priest after his arrest to tell him about the shootings, the papers said. Stanley, who identified himself as Elijah when he was arrested Thursday, is to be charged Monday with three counts of first-degree murder, said District Attorney Scott Horner.
Stanley is accused of arguing with the Rev. John Rossiter, pastor of St. Patrick's Church in Onalaska, about letting girls read Scripture during Mass, and then of killing Rossiter, 64; lay minister Ferdinand L. Roth Sr., 55, and custodian William G. Hammes, 66.
Police Chief William Reynolds said in court documents that officers found an apparently disoriented Stanley in the parking lot of St. Francis Medical Center on the night of Jan. 23 and that he identified himself as Elijah.
The previous night, police found Stanley in a state of mental confusion at a convenience store. Reynolds said Stanley checked himself into the psychiatric ward.
The La Crosse Tribune reported Friday that Stanley also had been hospitalized for psychiatric treatment June 21 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., after attacking a state trooper.