Phoenix pastor killed in home invasion; suspect sketch released

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A pastor was killed and another man was assaulted in a home invasion near downtown Phoenix Friday night.

Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard said two men entered a home near 20th Avenue and Van Buren Street around 8:30 p.m. Three adults were home at the time.

Howard said that in two separate confrontations, 53-year-old John "Jack" Moriarty was shot and killed, and another man was assaulted. He sustained a minor injury.

The third occupant hid inside her bedroom and called police, providing updates while officers were en route.

The intruders took some personal property and fled the home before officers arrived, Howard said.

Those who knew Moriarty, or "Pastor Jack," say he was dedicated to helping others turn their lives around.

"One of my favorite things to do is to help people get off the streets, get off of drugs, get off of alcohol," he said in a 2013 YouTube video promoting the Redeemed Outreach Center, where he was the senior pastor.

Richard Garcia stopped by the center Saturday morning to offer his condolences.

"When I first checked into a halfway house in 1991 or 92, he was the head of that house in Mesa," Garcia said.

More than five years sober, Garcia credits Moriarity with helping him kick his drug habit and turn his life around. He smiled as he remembered the pastor, whom he called one of the most compassionate people he has ever known.

"Here in Phoenix, the guy was a solid rock for Christ," Garcia said. "He had a heart for people that are lost in the world because he himself came from those roots."

One suspect is described as a 5-foot-8 white man in his 40s, with a stocky build, stringy brown hair and a clean-shaven face. He was wearing dark clothing.

The other suspect is believed to be a black man between 20 and 40 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 170 pounds. He was wearing dark clothing and a dark beanie.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6141 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.