KDPS continues search for man who robbed, stabbed deacon

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek
An undated courtesy photo of Joe Schmitt, deacon at St. Thomas More Catholic Church.

An undated courtesy photo of Joe Schmitt, deacon at St. Thomas More Catholic Church.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Three weeks after a robbery and stabbing in Kalamazoo, police are continuing to ask for help in finding the suspect.

The victim is a deacon at a local Catholic parish, police confirmed.

Joe Schmitt, deacon at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, was assaulted Nov. 5 near Saint Mary Catholic Church on Charlotte Avenue near Humphrey Street.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety says another man came up to Schmitt and demanded his wallet. When Schmitt said he didn’t have one, the man threw him to the ground, searched him and stabbed him multiple times in the chest. Schmitt was also stabbed in the neck, family members told News 8.

Police say a passerby in a car stopped and called police.

Schmitt, 71, was released from the hospital Nov. 13 and was admitted into a rehabilitation hospital Nov. 16, family members said. They said Schmitt was working to build up his strength and made progress.

“We’re happy to share that Deacon Joe Schmitt is doing well. He’s been released from the hospital and working with rehabilitation services to work on improvement in strength and endurance. We’re grateful for all those who have prayed for Deacon Joe and his wife Becky and we continue to hold him in prayer for continued healing,” said the Diocese of Kalamazoo in a statement.

Police are still looking for the person who did it and haven’t made any progress on finding that person. They released a sketch of the suspect, who was described as a 6-foot-2, 200-pound Black man with medium to dark complexion and light colored eyes. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, gray cloth face mask and gray winter hat.

A sketch of a suspect in a robbery and stabbing in Kalamazoo on Nov. 5, 2020. (Courtesy of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety)

Anyone with information is asked to call KDPS at 269.337.8139 or  Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.

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