People come to church because it feels like a safe place. This was brought home in AZ this past week when a man showed up battered and bruised claiming he had been taken captive.
There are two things that happen in an active attacker incident (I don’t use the term shooter): the attack begins and while people try to figure out if it’s real, people die. When I first started my police career a grizzled old veteran corrected my thinking when he said, “Don’t think if, think when.”
Thinking “when” completely changes your mindset because you go from a nebulous “probably won’t happen, but if it does I will do X, Y, Z” to “It will happen, here is my plan.”
I’ve started up the Church Security Report Video again because it saves time getting a video up instead of taking a week to write an article. I can talk and show things vs. just writing.
So Here Is Episode 1:
In the United States, most church attacks have occurred due to domestic violence spill over from home to the church environment. Worldwide, Christians have been under attack from terrorist organizations, independent lone wolf attacks, local criminals, government organizations, and opposing religious groups Muslims and Hindus.
The Jerusalem Post published an article this week stating ISIS claimed responsibility for the 300 lost lives and 500 injuries from bombings perpetrated by their followers.
According to the Post:
“ISIS CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR SRI LANKA CHURCH ATTACKSri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St. Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019.Islamic State claimed responsibility on Tuesday for the bomb attacks in Sri Lanka that killed 321 people in what officials believe was retaliation for assaults on mosques in New Zealand.The claim, issued through the group’s AMAQ news agency, was made after Sri Lanka said two domestic Islamist groups with suspected links to foreign militants were suspected to have been behind the attacks at three churches and four hotels. About 500 people were also wounded in the bombings.”
A suspect was arrested April 24, 2019 in Centerville, Utah for a crime that occurred in November. Police reported the suspect, a teenager, broke into the Mormon meetinghouse at 270 N. 300 East Centerville on a Saturday in November 2018 while the 71 year old organist was rehearsing.
According to Centerville Police Lt. Zan Robison, the victim was practicing the organ at about 9 p.m. when she heard a loud pounding for several minutes on the locked door of the chapel. The suspect was able to gain entry into the church by breaking a window.
He then came up behind her and choked her out multiple times. Detectives were able to collect DNA evidence left behind on discarded objects by the subject which were sent to the state lab for processing. According to Deseret News:
“This investigation took several months, but it remained a priority for us…Centerville Police Chief Paul Child said, there is no known connection between the boy and the woman. We have informed the victim of this incident of the arrest, and she expressed relief,” police said.”
A former member of Iglesia Pentecostal de Bethlehem church in Bethlehem Pennsylvania is accused of setting two fires to his former church this past week.
According to Philly.com
“Bethlehem police say 43-year-old Wilmer Ortiz Torres was arraigned Friday night on arson, criminal trespass and burglary charges. He had been arrested earlier in the day after authorities reviewed surveillance video from a public housing complex across the street from the church.”
The first fire at the church occurred Tuesday (April 23, 2019) which gutted the sanctuary and
caused smoke and water damage. A second fire was set Thursday (April 25, 2019) on the church roof but was quickly extinguished.