Morning events at the Shrine were curtailed because of the crime scene, but noon Mass occurred as usual, albeit in the Blessed Sacrament chapel on the upper level, not in the crypt church as originally scheduled. Dozens were in attendance as Monsignor Buonanno celebrated Mass.
"We had a number of people who came up to me personally today and who expressed their grief, but their gratitude for the Basilica being here, and they indicated that they were in solidarity and prayer with us," Hayes said.
Buonanno preached in his homily what he later repeated to CNA-that the Shrine is a "holy place that we know is Mary's house."
"We are very close here at the shrine. It's more than just staff. There truly is a sense of family, and when something like this happens, all of us-the whole staff-reacted, so upset," he told CNA.
After the stabbing, the attacker fled the basilica in a Lincoln Navigator and later barricaded himself in a house in the nearby neighborhood of Brightwood, during an ensuing standoff with police.
A suspect was apprehended by police after the standoff ended, and had lacerations to the stomach area from before his capture. He was familiar with at least one of the two victims, Hayes said in a written statement on Tuesday morning.
The suspect lived at the house with family members, said Jeffery Carroll, assistant chief of police with the D.C. Metropolitan Police's homeland security bureau, in a press conference on Tuesday morning.
The stabbing was believed to be a "domestic" attack and not a targeting of the shrine itself, D.C. Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday.
"We believe there is some sort of a domestic relationship between the female victim and the suspect here," Carroll said.
Monsignor Rossi went to the hospital to visit the two victims and speak with their doctors, but would not disclose their condition out of privacy concerns. Hayes said that she understood the victims are "stable."
The shrine's security personnel are not armed, Monsignor Rossi said, although "we are in the process of looking at that policy." The shrine was already reviewing its security operation before the time of the attack, he said.
(Story continues below)
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"We do have D.C. Police with us for special events, and on the weekends, and we are looking at our entire security operations even as we speak-before this even happened. This is unfortunate timing," Rossi said.
Hayes later said that the shrine is currently "on a heightened security alert," and although it has 50 security guards, "in today's day and age, we are looking at enhancing our current security protocols."
"A member of our family has been struck. So that's difficult, but we are in solidarity," she said.
In January of 2019, a group of demonstrators at a rally led by Nathan Phillips attempted to enter the Shrine to disrupt a Saturday evening Mass on the weekend of the March for Life, but the group was halted by security personnel.