FBI: Truck driver threatened mass shooting at Memphis church

Said he was haunted by 'spiritual snakes and spiders'

WWL Newsroom
August 21, 2019 - 6:38 am

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(AP) -- A truck driver who threatened to "shoot up" a church in Memphis and said he was haunted by "spiritual snakes and spiders" people put in his bed was arrested in Indiana, less than a week before the day of the planned attacks, authorities said in newly filed court records.

Thomas Matthew McVicker was arrested in Indianapolis on Friday, according to a criminal complaint unsealed this week. It's the most recent case in a string of men being arrested around the country for threatening to carry out shootings.

McVicker, 38, made "credible threats to conduct a mass shooting and suicide" planned for this coming Thursday, an FBI special agent said in a sworn affidavit.

He was arrested by Indiana State Police and the FBI, said Chris Bavender, an FBI spokeswoman in Indianapolis.

Earlier this month, a friend of McVicker in Fairhope, Alabama, told a Florida FBI officer McVicker had been considering a mass shooting at a church or killing people on the street.

Later, in a telephone call, the friend said McVicker told her the church shooting would happen when he was in Memphis on Thursday and that he "intended to take his knife and slit the pastor's throat."

His mother told the FBI McVicker owned a Ruger P90 handgun and sometimes uses cocaine and methamphetamine. She also said her son is being treated for schizophrenia. 

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