Worshippers stop teenage boy armed with rifle from entering church full of children in Louisiana

A 16-year-old suspect armed with a rifle has been stopped from entering a church full of children by worshippers during a livestreamed service, say authorities in Louisiana.

The boy tried to get into the St Mary Magdalen Church, in Abbeville, through the back door at around 10.30am on Saturday (4.30pm UK time), according to police.

A livestream of the incident that was seen by Sky News' partner outlet NBC News showed a man approaching Reverend Nicholas DuPre after 48 minutes to whisper something.

Rev DuPre then stopped the service and asked churchgoers to pray with him, while some people were heard panicking and screaming.

Around 60 children were inside and waiting to take their first Holy Communion when worshippers confronted the armed suspect.

The Louisiana Catholic church said they then took him outside before calling the police.

On the livestream, police officers could seen walking through the church, as boys ran across the altar and the clergy took shelter, NBC News reported.

Someone was heard to say over a loudspeaker: "Guys, just get ahold of your children, go slowly. We did apprehend a child, he is in custody."

In a statement, Abbeville Police Department said that upon arrival, officers arrested the suspect and then searched the church.

The force added the teenager was charged with terrorising the church and two counts of possession of a firearm by a juvenile.

Witnesses told TV station KADN that he was dressed all in black and armed with the rifle, NBC News reported.

Police chief Mike Hardy thanked the churchgoers who intervened for their "quick response and remaining calm throughout this matter".

Read more on Sky News:
Star witness at Trump trial gives evidence

Hollywood actor punched in New York City
RFK Jr says worm ate part of his brain

The church also said it now plans to have uniformed law enforcement officers outside of its masses "out of an abundance of caution".