INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A man who allegedly has told family members that he hears voices and that he believes he’s possessed by demons has been arrested for threatening to commit mass murder at a Tennessee church.
According to reports, Thomas McVicker of Punta Gorda, Florida planned this week to attack the church and then kill himself.
“I’m thinking about shooting a church up, but I’m afraid how it will affect my family in the flesh when I’m gone,” he is accused of texting to a friend. “So, I think I’m just gonna kill some people on the street and get away with it, then kill myself.”
When the friend told him to seek help, he replied, “I’m telling you there won’t be a glorious turnaround for me. I’m going to be gone soon forever.”
In a later phone call, McVicker allegedly brought up the shooting again, stating that he would carry out the attack while in Memphis on Thursday and that he “intended to take his knife and slit the pastor’s throat.” McVicker is a trucker and travels the country.
When his friend asked why he wanted to hurt people, she says that he responded that he is tormented by “spiritual snakes and spiders” that people put in his bed.
“I’ve only seen them a couple of times, but they take form and I can feel them crawling on me and under me,” he said, according to Fox13 Memphis.
McVicker, 38, also reportedly stated that “evil entities [had] entered his body and are torturing him.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) were alerted to the threat and took McVicker into custody in Indianapolis, Indiana on Friday after finding that he had indeed asked his employer for that day off and that he specified that he was going to Memphis.
“McVicker’s family said he’s being treated for schizophrenia and sometimes uses cocaine and methamphetamine. His mother told the FBI that sometimes he ‘hears voices’ and claims to be possessed by demons,” Indiana television station WTTV reports.
It is not clear which church McVicker planned to attack or if officials have that particular information.
“We have no idea at the time of arrest what was recovered. Was the pistol [he owned] recovered? Were additional weapons recovered? Did he have a manifesto in there? Did he have additional targets that he laid out? Did he have a specific church? All these things will come out [in time],” now-retired FBI Agent CM Sturgis told Fox13 News.
In Mark 7:20-23 Jesus outlined that murder, like all sin, begins in the heart. It is why He declared that men must be born again (John 3:3) and have their very nature changed, or they cannot see the Kingdom of God.
“That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man,” Jesus said. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
He also taught hope and freedom from abiding sin, explaining in John 8:34-36, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever, but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”