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Teen arrested for allegedly stabbing two at Church of Scientology in Australia

Image: New South Wales police stand guard at the scene of a stabbing at the
New South Wales police stand guard at the scene of a stabbing at the Church of Scientology headquarters in Chatswood, Australia, on Jan. 3, 2019. Copyright Mick Tsikas
Copyright Mick Tsikas
By Minyvonne Burke with NBC News World News
Published on
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Police in Australia said the 16-year-old was being escorted from the church when he pulled out a knife.

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A 16-year-old boy has been arrested for allegedly stabbing two men, one of them fatally, outside the Church of Scientology's headquarters in Sydney, Australia, police said.

The teenager, whose name has not been released, was being escorted from the church in Chatswood on Thursday afternoon when he pulled out a "very sharp kitchen knife" in the driveway, an officer said during a press conference outside the religious center.

New South Wales police stand guard at the scene of a stabbing at the Church of Scientology headquarters in Chatswood, Australia, on Jan. 3, 2019.
New South Wales police stand guard at the scene of a stabbing at the Church of Scientology headquarters in Chatswood, Australia, on Jan. 3, 2019.Mick Tsikas

A 24-year-old employee died at a local hospital from the injuries he sustained, according to authorities. Another employee, who police believe is in his 40s, suffered wounds to his hands and was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Australian police said they believe the suspect has a family member who attends the church. The teenager was asked to leave the center because of a "domestic incident" that occurred on Wednesday, according to officials.

"It does not, as far I know, relate to the Scientology premises here," police said about Wednesday's incident. "However, resulting from that incident, staff made the decision that he should leave the premises."

His relative was at the church during the incident, but police are not sure if the teenager was able to make contact with that person.

The suspect was arrested outside the church and is being held at the Chatswood Police Station.

Calls made by NBC News to the church's Chatswood and New York City locations were not immediately returned.

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