Pastor Stabbed to Death by Parishioner Who Asked to Pray With Him: Cops

Pastor Herbert Valero was able to identify the murderer to his family before he died, cops say.

A California pastor was stabbed to death by a parishioner who'd asked to pray with him, cops say.

Pastor Herbert Valero invited a man over to his home in Salinas early Tuesday night when the pastor told his family he was going to be outside, praying.

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A few minutes later, the clergyman who folks called "Pastor Herb" ran back into his home holding his neck.

Cops say Valero told his family he'd been stabbed by 37-year-old Servando Ayala Silva. The family called 911 as they say Silva fled in a truck.

When officers arrived, they performed CPR until medical personnel arrived.

"Unfortunately, due to the injury to his neck, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene," Salinas police said in a statement.

The motive for the stabbing is unknown, police said.

“What started off as what seems to have been a peaceful meeting — for some reason it went south," Salinas police Cmdr. Stanley Cooper told The Mercury News.

Silva has since been located and police believe the pastor was his only victim.

The suspect was arrested and charged with homicide. He remained held at Monterey County Jail as of Friday on a $1 million bond.

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A vigil was held Wednesday at Victory Outreach Church, where Valero preached. Among those from the congregation mourning his passing is Angelina Juarez, who posted about Valero on Twitter.

"Pastor Herb, one of the strongest men I knew,” Juarez wrote. “He did so much for Salinas, helping people, so honored to say he was my pastor."

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