Matthew Lee Richards, 41, was charged with attempted murder and one count of aggravated arson, according to police
A youth pastor in Kansas allegedly attempted to kill his wife and five children by stabbing them after setting a home on fire, according to police.
Matthew Lee Richards, 41, was taken into custody after officials arrived at the home “for a report of a disturbance and a house fire” in the early morning hours on Saturday, according to a press release by the Shawnee Police Department. In the basement, firefighters discovered the fire before extinguishing the flames, per the release.
His wife and children — including a 19-year-old and four minors — sustained "laceration injuries of varying degrees," per the release. As of Saturday, his wife and two minors remained at the hospital and Richards was also transported. The older child and two other minors were released.
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Richards was arrested and charged with five counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated arson with risk of bodily harm, police said.
According to jail records, Richards is being held on a $5 million bond.
The investigation is ongoing, authorities noted.
According to Fox News, Richards' biography on the Crossroads Christian Church website — which has since been removed — described him as "a big kids [sic] who loves teaching little kids about Jesus."
"He has been married to Stephanie since 2003 and they have 4 boys and 1 girl. He and his family have three rules: 1. Love God, 2. Love People, 3. Love Sports (especially the Jayhawks and Sporting KC)," the biography stated, per the outlet. "Matt and his family have been at Crossroads since August 2016 and look forward to many more years helping teach and reach those in the Shawnee area."
The church said in a statement on Monday that they were “shocked, sickened, and saddened by Saturday morning's events involving our former children's pastor.”
“This is a tragedy beyond what any of us could have imagined,” they continued. “We are offering support and resources to the members of the Richards family who were victimized and their extended family. The road to recovery will be long – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Please respect their privacy as they walk this incredibly challenging and painful road. Please join us as we continue to pray for and stand with them.”
The Shawnee Police Department and Johnson County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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