A raging Virginia man threatened churchgoers at a Richmond church, banging on the door and threatening to kill the people within while yelling racial slurs during a regular Thursday-night service, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
The man reportedly had something resembling a weapon in his hand, which a police officer, who was working security at the church at the time, thought was a gun, causing him to hold the unidentified assailant at gunpoint and ordering him to drop the object. However, the man did not do so immediately.
The object turned out to be a long piece of plastic that the man was using to bang on the church doors.
Officers soon arrived and took the man into custody at a local hospital under an emergency commitment order for a 72-hour mental-health evaluation. According to the Times-Dispatch, officers consulted with the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office, and it was determined that the man had not broken the law.
“I never thought I’d see the day when police have to be at church,” Police Capt. Chris Gleason told the Times-Dispatch.
Cellphone footage showed the man, who is white, cursing while standing outside. Churchgoers urged fellow worshippers to lock all the doors so that the man could not gain access to the building.
Witnesses accused the man of calling congregants “n–gers” and saying, “I’m going to kill all you and all you are gonna get killed tonight,” according to the New York Daily News.
The man also said, according to witnesses, “You’re taking over.”
The unnerving incident occurred only a day after a white man opened fire at a prayer meeting at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., killing nine people. Dylann Storm Roof has reportedly confessed to the horrific mass shooting, authorities reported Friday, and is due for a bond hearing later in the day.