On Thursday, March 8, Cathedral Prep experienced something it had not dealt with before. After school hours had ended Prep had to go into a lockdown. Millcreek resident John P. Grazioli, entered St. Peter’s Cathedral, not too long after a school Mass had concluded. Grazioli reportedly was seeking a priest, and he was met by the Rev. Michael Polinek. Grazioli told Polinek that he had killed his wife, and that he was planning to kill himself. Official Catholic confession is protected, but this confession was not made sacramentally. While Grazioli was in the Cathedral he had the weapon he used to kill his wife, Amanda. Police arrived at around 3:20 p.m., and Grazioli was soon arrested. The lockdown that Cathedral Prep had put into place ended by 4 p.m. once administration was certain it was safe. It was said that the police tracked Grazioli’s phone to be able to find his location.
This was definitely a strange experience for the small number of students who were still in the building after school. Prep senior Alex Welz was one of the students who was still at Prep. He said he was staying after school for play practice when principal, Jim Smith told all the kids participating in the play that they were now in a lockdown. The students were told to find the nearest classroom to make sure they were as safe as possible.
Welz stated, “It wasn’t really that scary to me because I had no idea what was going on until he had already been arrested.”
The lockdown went as smooth as possible. No one in the school was harmed and Grazioli was arrested peacefully.