Incident Summary:

12/13/2020: An assailant armed with two semiautomatic handguns opened fire as people were leaving a Christmas choral concert outside the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States. The assailant was killed by police officers. There were no other casualties. In addition to the assailant's weapons, the police also recovered a backpack containing several lengths of rope, wire, lighters, tape, knives, a gasoline can, a Bible, and a note saying that he intended to take hostages. No group claimed responsibility for the incident; however, Luis Vasquez, an unaffiliated individual, claimed responsibility for the incident and stated that the attack was carried out in retaliation for the alleged treatment of Latin America. In reference to US banks and corporations, Vasquez stated "we need to seize their wealth and return it to the people of Latin America."



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:

New York

New York City

Location Details:
The incident occurred in Manhattan.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) No
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
Specific Description Church
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Handgun
Incendiary Gasoline or Alcohol
Melee Knife or Other Sharp Object
Weapon Details
Two semiautomatic pistols, a can of gasoline, knives, ropes, wire, and duct tape were used in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?Yes
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Anti-globalization extremists Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Note left at scene)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 1
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"A gunman is dead after a shooting at a New York City cathedral Christmas concert," CNN Wire, December 13, 2020.
"Church-shoot guy riled over Latin America," Daily News (New York), December 16, 2020.
"NYC cathedral gunman's note says he planned to take hostages," Dayton Daily News, December 16, 2020.