A Virginia pastor is calling it a “miracle of God” after an armed man was arrested at a church after making threats online.
Pastor Barry White of Park Valley Church in Haymarket praised an off-duty police officer, Lt. Shawn Peak with the Prince William County Police Department (PWCPD), for being stationed at the church Sunday morning when 35-year-old Rui Jiang came in armed with a handgun and knives, according to WTOP.
“It was… a miracle of God,” White told the outlet.
A Virginia man has been charged after he was arrested at a church with a loaded weapon after posting threats online, authorities said https://t.co/bF8XC1qKpS
— CNN (@CNN) September 26, 2023
The Arundel Anne County Police Department (AACP) in Maryland received a report from a resident who had come across posts from Jiang that contained “vague threats of violence” along with images of the church.
After receiving this report and launching an investigation, the AACP contacted the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) in Virginia, who went to Jiang’s home and discovered he wasn’t there.
First Sgt. Jonathan Perok with the PWCPD explained that the FCPD had “alerted” them “because church services were going on around the time,” adding that the posts from Jiang were “pretty recent.”
Chief Kevin Davis with the FCPD told NBC Washington the situation was a “thwarted diabolical plot to kill churchgoers in Haymarket, Virginia,” that several local law enforcement agencies had helped to stop.
“I noticed that in his social media posts, he was upset with the government and had indicated that he believed a lot of government employees attended our church,” White said, adding he thought Jiang had attended several church events during the summer.
Jiang has been charged with making threats of bodily harm and carrying a dangerous weapon into a place of worship. He was held without bond, according to a press release from the PWCPD.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.