The man who rushed naked into St. Patrick's Cathedral and beat an elderly usher to death before being shot dead by police had previously committed vandalism at the shrine and disrupted a service hours before the fatal attack, Cardinal John O'Connor said.

O'Connor said the unidentified man had confronted him during a morning Mass at the Gothic Revival cathedral and that a priest had warned him that the intruder might be violent.The attacker rushed naked into St. Patrick's about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, beat the usher to death with a brass stanchion, struck an intervening police officer with the makeshift weapon and slapped a woman praying in a pew near the front altar, police said.

Police identified the attacker as Jorge DelGado, 32, a Cuban-American from Manhattan.