Gunman arrested at Louisiana church during First Communion Mass

A 16-year-old was arrested after entering a Catholic church in Louisiana with a gun, inciting panic among children gathered for their First Holy Communion last weekend.

When police arrived to St Mary Magdalen in Abbeville, they found a teen unarmed and pinned to the ground by parishioners, according to local news.

No one was harmed during the incident, which was captured on a livestream.

The FBI is assisting Abbeville Police with the investigation.

Footage from the incident over the weekend shows a man walking up to the priest mid-ceremony to whisper something in his ear. The priest then stops the ceremony and asks the congregation to join him in prayer - then panic erupts.

According to a St Mary Magdalen Catholic Church Facebook post, ''a suspicious person opened the back door of the building". Witnesses told local news that he was armed and dressed in black.

Churchgoers slowly noticed him, and in the footage, cries and screams erupt from the church pews as the priest is seen slowly ducking behind the altar. Multiple children are seen running across the screen.

The church described the encounter over the weekend as a "frightening experience" that "understandably caused a panic" in the post.

"The individual was immediately confronted by parishioners, escorted outside and the police were called," a church Facebook post said.

"It was the scariest thing I have ever gone through," one woman wrote on social media.

When police arrived at 10:35 CST (16:35 BST), they "made a sweep through the church to make sure there was no additional threat", the Abbeville Police Department said.

Abbeville Police Chief Mike Hardy told local news that the suspect said there was a second shooter nearby. However, police said they didn't find evidence of that.

The suspect was taken into custody and questioned, then taken to be medically evaluated. He is charged with terrorizing and two counts of possession of a firearm by a juvenile, police said.

In the Facebook post, St Mary Magdalen thanked its parishioners and police for "acting quickly to ensure safety for all" and said uniformed police will be at all upcoming Masses "out of an abundance of caution".

The encounter follows a similar scene also captured on video in Pennsylvania. On 5 May, a man walked into a church service, aimed a gun at the pastor and pulled the trigger. The gun jammed, sparing the pastor.

The man was restrained by parishioners until police arrived and placed him under arrest.