The Grass Valley Police Department has obtained an arrest warrant for Alan Kierkegaard, 50, of Nevada County in connection with the attack on a Grass Valley Catholic church parishioner and carjacking Sunday. Kierkegaard is charged with attempted murder and carjacking.
Mary Grace Tassone, 78, a volunteer at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 235 Chapel St., was found near the side of the church about 7:30 a.m. Sunday. Tassone, who suffered head trauma in the attack, which occurred about 5:15 a.m., was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center where she underwent surgery. She was reported to be in stable condition.
Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto, along with the St. Patrick parish pastor, released a statement in which they described Tassone as a warm woman known for her generosity.
“She who tirelessly prayed for others, now needs our supplications,” the statement reads. “We pray to the Good Shepherd, who knows her so well, for her recovery. We hope that she and her family will know the companionship of the prayers of everyone at St. Patrick’s as well as so many others in the Catholic community throughout the Sacramento region.”
According to a news release, officers contacted Kierkegaard (also known as Alan Sorenson) about 1 a.m. Sunday in Condon Park. Investigators linked the clothing description provided by patrol officers to the clothing a man was wearing in church surveillance video near the time of the assault.
Kierkegaard, who does not have a record of criminal charges in California, was at a local business wearing similar clothing Saturday.
The suspect’s whereabouts are unknown.
Police say he took Tassone’s 2013 gray Honda Accord, license plate number 6ZHX462.
The Grass Valley Police Department is being assisted by local and federal agencies in its investigation. Anyone with information about Kierkegaard and his whereabouts or who may have seen Tassone’s vehicle is asked to contact the Grass Valley Police Department.