Surveillance video captures shirtless man threatening to kill nun inside New York church

PROSPECT HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WPIX) — Police are investigating after a man walked inside a Prospect Heights church and threatened to kill a nun.

It was all caught on video inside the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph on Pacific Street.

Police say 49-year-old Maria Amador, Mother Superior of her community, was praying in a pew at about 2 p.m. Wednesday inside the church when the man approached her.

He told her, "I don't believe in this because you don't help the poor." When the nun did not respond, he asked, "What did I say?"

The alarmed nun looked over at a woman in another pew and the man said, "She can't help you. I'm going to kill you."

Amador ran and called for help. Fortunately, the church organist was practicing in the loft.

She later spoke to PIX11 about the terrifying encounter.

"He got angrier he asked me what's did I say, so I tried to repeat so he got angrier and angrier I started to look around at for help," Amador said. "I started to to scream Alejandro please help me."

RELATED: Photos from the unusual incident

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Video shows shirtless man threatening to kill nun inside church
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Video shows shirtless man threatening to kill nun inside church
Police are investigating after a shirtless man entered a church in New York, and then allegedly threatened to kill a nun who was praying inside.
Police are investigating after a shirtless man entered a church in New York, and then allegedly threatened to kill a nun who was praying inside.
Police are investigating after a shirtless man entered a church in New York, and then allegedly threatened to kill a nun who was praying inside.
Police are investigating after a shirtless man entered a church in New York, and then allegedly threatened to kill a nun who was praying inside.
Police are investigating after a shirtless man entered a church in New York, and then allegedly threatened to kill a nun who was praying inside.
Police are investigating after a shirtless man entered a church in New York, and then allegedly threatened to kill a nun who was praying inside.
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Cops released video of the shirtless suspect and when PIX11 showed it to her, the nun couldn't believe she escaped the situation without getting hurt.

"It was very hard looking at that and be in that situation, I was very strong but when I looked again at the video, it was real and I was in a very dangerous situation and thank God I'm fine," she said.

Monsignor Kieran Harrington says Amador's mother had been sick and likely the reason why she was at the church praying.

"Her mom has been sick," Harrington said. "I'm sure she was in the church praying for her mom that's precisely why we leave the church open because it's not just for us to pray the church is open for everybody throughout the day."

When asked about her attacker, Amador said would forgive him.

"I forgive him and he's my brother we belong to the same world," she said. "We belong to the same church I pray for him and I forgive him.

The suspect fled toward Vanderbilt. He is described as bald, about 6 feet tall with a medium build. He was wearing khaki shorts, white sneakers, carrying a white baseball-style cap in his hand and a shirt in his back pocket.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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