Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Dec 9, 2021 / 13:35 pm
Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a “person of interest” caught on camera damaging an Our Lady of Fatima statue outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 5.
Police on Wednesday, Dec. 8, released black-and-white surveillance footage of the incident that shows a man wearing a mask approaching the Marian statue at 10:58 p.m. The man steps up to the statue, withdraws a mallet or hammer-like tool, and appears to strike at Our Lady’s hands. He climbs back down only to step up again and repeatedly whack at her face, sending pieces of marble flying. As he leaves, he appears to pick up and carry away the statue’s cut-off hands. You can watch the full video below.
A gathering was planned at the statue at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, immediately following the 5:15 p.m. Mass at the basilica, to recite the rosary in reparation for the attack.