Shocking Turn of Events: Kansas Youth Pastor Stabs Wife and Children, Sets House Ablaze

A youth minister from Shawnee, Kansas, has been apprehended following accusations of stabbing his wife and five children before setting their residence ablaze. Matthew Lee Richards is now facing a slew of charges, including attempted murder and aggravated arson, as reported by the local police department.

The incident took place in Shawnee, a city situated approximately 10 miles southwest of Kansas City, Missouri. Emergency services, including firefighters and police, were alerted to a disturbance and a house fire at 3:47 a.m. on a recent Saturday. The fire, which originated in the basement, was promptly put out, and seven individuals, including Richards, were transported to a nearby hospital.

The victims, identified as Richards’ wife, a 19-year-old adult child, and four underage children, all sustained varying degrees of laceration injuries. While the 19-year-old and two of the younger children have since been treated and discharged, Richards’ wife and the remaining two children are still receiving medical care.

The motive behind the attack remains undisclosed. Richards has been serving as a youth pastor at Crossroads Christian Church in Shawnee since 2016 and has been married to his wife for nearly two decades. In the wake of the incident, the church’s senior pastor, Kurt Witten, took to Facebook to request prayers for the Richards family.

The neighborhood was a hive of activity on Saturday, with fire crews, police investigators, and detectives on the scene. Local residents expressed their shock and sorrow over the incident, remembering the family’s outdoor activities fondly.

Richards, in addition to his pastoral duties, is also a 7th-grade English teacher at Christ Prep Academy. His teaching career includes stints at schools in Austria and Dallas, Texas.

Currently, Richards is being detained at the Johnson County Jail with a bond set at $5 million. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday afternoon.