Guns at Church

Most entries on these pages only contain arrests, charges, or indictments, which may eventually be reduced, dropped, or expunged, and as such, these actors may in fact be innocent in a court of law. These are just a few of the instances of guns at church that we have identified.

These incidents include cases where firearms have been brought into a church and an arrest was made. In many instances church staff do not report the offense, and therefore, no arrest can be made. The latter cases are difficult to publicly identify. Similarly, cases of negligent discharge often also go unreported because they may lead to perceived public embarrassment.

These are just a few of the gun incidents we have identified. There are many more to be uploaded, so please check back.

Click on the link to read the report.

Firearm Incidents

2021 – Shiloh Temple, Minneapolis, MN. Two persons shot, one fatally, outside a funeral at a church. The funeral was for a victim of another homicide. 1 Dead Following Shooting Outside Minneapolis Church.

2019 – St. Gertrude Church, Franklin Park, IL. James Orwick (citizen) was arrested after he was found hiding in a closet of the church basement armed with three handguns. His Facebook posts said, “All set for final shootout,” I saw Jesus” and “Bodies are gonna put this story on the map.” He also believed people were coming after him. And the police did. Franklin Park officers find man hiding in church basement with arsenal of weapons.

2019 – Church of Scientology, Inglewood, CA. A man entered church with a sword. He was shot dead by police. Two officers were shot but lived. Man With Sword Killed, 2 Officers Injured During Scientology Church Shooting.

2019 – Iglesia de Cristo church, Houston, TX. Juan Antonio Rodriguez allegedly walked into a church and brandished the gun in front of congregants. He left the church without firing a shot. Man arrested for pointing gun at church congregation.

2019 – West Freeway Church of Christ, White Settlement, TX. Keith Thomas Kinnunen killed two church members before being killed by a security team member. Man who killed two in Texas church identified.

2019 – Tsidkenu Church, San Diego, CA. Anna Conkey walked into the church and threatened to set off a bomb. She also brandished a handgun and at one point aimed the firearm toward a baby she was holding. No bomb was found. Church members describe the suspect as delusional. Woman holding a baby and waving a gun threatened to blow up California church, police say.

2019 – Central Wesleyan Church, Holland, MI. Joshua Dean Foster was arrested on charges he was carrying a concealed weapon. The shotgun and ammunition were in the man’s vehicle in the church parking lot. He was acting suspiciously and commented to a member of security staff that he was headed to another nearby church while mentioning he had the shotgun his vehicle. Park Township Man Arrested After Gun, Church Incident.

2019 – Redeemed By God Church, Orlando, FL. Ileana Munizpou was arrested for allegedly bringing a gun to church and threatening to kill someone inside the church. She did have a firearm on her along “with two loaded magazines.” Woman accused of bringing gun to church, threatening to shoot people inside.

2019 – Assembly of God Church, Green Bay, WI. Two men were arrested for unlawfully carrying firearms inside the church. They were allegedly carrying without a permit and refused to leave when confronted. The two men were affiliated with the Hebrew Israelite or Black Hebrew church, a radical sect of Christianity linked to extremist views. Police to schools: Be on the lookout for Gbaja-Biamila associates involved in disturbance outside church.

2019 – Christ Church, Rochester, NY. Antonio Vargas was arrested on charges of assault for allegedly shooting two staff workers at a church soup kitchen, with a BB gun. Arrest made in BB gun assault at soup kitchen.

2019 – New England Pentecostal Ministries, Pelham, NH. Dale Holloway entered the church during a wedding and is alleged to have shot the bishop and wedding bride, before he was tackled. Man accused of shooting bride, bishop at N.H. church wedding.

2019 – Immaculate Heart of Church, Austintown, OH. A juvenile male was arrested at a church festival for allegedly carrying a loaded firearm. Police arrest juvenile with suspected gun during Austintown festival.

2019 – Cornerstone Bible Baptist Church, Worcester, MA. Joseph Rizzuti (pastor) was arrested on charges of interfering with a child custody case. Police tazed the pastor and charged him with “disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, interfering with a police officer, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and resisting arrest.” It is alleged the pastor threw a door open abruptly, striking one of the officers, called the officers tyrants, and was trying to intervene on the victim’s behalf by preventing police from taking custody of the child from her mother. Police shock preacher with a stun gun amid struggle at Worcester church.

2019 – Stonebridge Church, Marietta, GA. Ligon Durham (elderly homeless man) posed as a parking lot attendant and asked people to pay $5.00 to park. When one man refused, he discharged a shot with his pellet gun. Man arrested after impersonating parking attendant, firing pellet gun, police say.

2019 – St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, Ocala, FL. Jacob Carl Harvey was arrested for allegedly brandishing a black BB gun angrily in front of church employees. Ocala man accused of pulling handgun on woman at church.

2018 – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Provo, UT. A 74-year-old accidentally discharged a firearm. Audio recording leaked after reported accidental gun discharge in LDS Church in Provo.

2018 – New Bethel AME Church, Pasco County, FL. Cornelius Jones was arrested for confronting and threatening church pastor with a gun because he believes the pastor is in a relationship with his ex-girlfriend. He was charged with aggravated assault. 91-year-old arrested for threatening pastor with gun at Lacoochee church.

2018 – Gospel Light Tabernacle, Berkley Springs, WV. Richard A. Jenkinson arrested for holding pastor hostage with a gun. Pastor held with a gun inside Berkeley Springs church.

2018 – St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, Amarillo, TX. Kevin Winkle arrested under federal charges of bringing multiple firearms and ammo into a school zone (attached to the church) when he brought firearms into a church. Man Arrested After Bringing Guns into Local Church Now Facing Federal Charges.

2018 – O’Neal Church of Christ, Athens, AL. Thomas Lewter arrested for attempted assault after “trying to pull a gun during a worship service.” Defense: Man to fight charges over church incident with gun.

2018 – Fairhope Church, Fairhope, AL.  Robin Lee Hernandez arrested for bringing guns and nearly 200 rounds into a church, including a semi-automatic rifle, without permit. Charges added against man accused of taking guns into Fairhope church.

2018 – Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN. Marcus Donald arrested for “bringing several guns” into a church on “Easter Sunday” including “an assault rifle in his backpack.” Man brings handgun, assault rifle into church.

2018 – Awakening Church, North Charleston, SC. Unidentified male arrested for carrying a loaded 9mm handgun and extra ammunition into a church. Man arrested after bringing gun into North Charleston church service.

2017 – Unidentified church, Houston, TX. Keanu Randolph arrested for illegally carrying a loaded firearm into a church and threatening to rape and kill. Police: Man threatened to rape and murder family at Houston church.

2017 – Bannockburn Baptist Church, Austin, TX. Ashley Tsao arrested at the church daycare in possession of a shotgun. Police arrest woman accused of bringing gun to church daycare.

2016 – Calvary Chapel Boise, Boise, ID. Andrew Ray Garcia (parishioner) was arrested on charges he brandished a firearm during a family dispute. Officially he was charged with “unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.” Police: Man in custody after brandishing gun at Boise church.

2015 – Temple of Faith Baptist Church, Louisville, KY. Abdallatif Jaber arrested for drawing a gun and threatening others. Man arrested for pulling gun on others at church.

2015 – St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Houma, LA. Kevin Ledet arrested for bringing a gun to church while wearing camouflage clothing and allowing gun to be noticed. Sheriff: Man arrested after showing gun at church service.

2015 – St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Mariposa, CA. Mitchell Amonds was arrested for allegedly threatening church members with a pellet gun. Police identified him as a transient (homeless) man. Man arrested for threatening churchgoers with pellet gun in Mariposa.

2015 – Oasis Tabernacle Church, East Selma, AL. James Junior Minter walked into a church and attempted to kill three people. He shot his girlfriend, his baby, and when confronted by the minister, shot him too. Alabama Church Shooting Wounds Infant and 2 Adults.

2015 – First Haitian Church of Grace, Charlotte, NC.  Michael Brandon Blake and a juvenile, Austin Nathaniel Hannon, arrested for bringing concealed weapons into a church while “carrying a backpack.” NC Man, Teen Charged after Bringing Gun to Church.

2014 – Elmbrook Church, Brookfield, WI.  Susan Hitchler arrested for bringing a loaded gun into a church restroom. The gun was left in a stall of the bathroom, discovered by an employee. Woman accused of bringing loaded gun into church restroom appears in court.

2014 – Unidentified church, Mansfield, TX. Marion Barber was arrested for allegedly flashing a loaded 9mm handgun inside a church. He was held for a mental evaluation because he was rambling and was not oriented as to year or location. Ex-NFL Star Marion Barber Flashed Loade Gun In Church … Cops Say.

2012 – First Baptist Church, Spartanburg, SC. Gloria Brackett was sitting in the parking lot of the church waiting for a family member. She says she thought someone was stalking her. Spotting the man, she pointed her gun at him. He turned out to be a U.S. Congressman. She kept pointing her gun at him as he drove off. Police: Woman pulls gun on congressman in church parking lot.

2012 – St. Columbanus Church, Chicago, IL. A shooting broke out at a funeral for an alleged gang member. One dead, one injured critically. Shooters were from rival gangs. Cops: Gang member killed, another seriously wounded at funeral.

2011 – Second Zion Baptist Church, Marrero, LA. Corey Stevenson arrested for “illegal carrying” a weapon with 35 rounds  (extended magazine), and resisted police officers. Algiers man arrested for bringing gun to a funeral in Marrero.

2009 – Del Oro Hills Community Church, Oceanside, CA. Jeffrey Jarvie (church janitor) arrested for waving his gun around, and asking to see the pastor. OCEANSIDE: Man arrested after bringing gun to church.

2008 – Nativity of Our Lord Church, Chicago, IL. David Kucia arrested for “carrying a [semi-concealed] loaded Glock up to communion,” first claiming he was a cop. He also had a shotgun in his vehicle. Man Charged with Bringing Gun to Church. 

Negligent Discharges

In most jurisdictions an accidental discharge, also known as negligent discharges, is a crime. Most jurisdictions have laws to disallow discharge of firearms within city limits, whether indoors or outdoors. Charging is within the discretion of individual police officers or county district prosecutors.

2021 – Church of Eleven22, Thrift Store, Jacksonville, FL. A young child discovered a handgun picked up a handgun off the floor and it discharged shooting him in the hand. Jacksonville police investigating accidental shooting involving child.

2020 – Worship Center, Upper Leacock Twp., PA. An accidental discharge of a handgun on church property involving two church security guards, injured one person in the face. One hurt after gun was ‘accidentally discharged’ at Worship Center; Police investigating.

2020 – Worship Center, Upper Leacock Township, PA. An unnamed security officer accidentally discharged a firearm inside the security office. One person, a volunteer, was injured by shrapnel to the face. One hurt after gun was ‘accidentally discharged’ at Worship Center; police investigating [update].

2020 – Southwest Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, OK. A firearm was accidentally discharged just outside the church as a man was exiting or entering a motor vehicle. He shot himself in the leg. Man accidentally shoots himself after gun discharges outside SW OKC church, police say.

2020 – Unidentified church, Leola, PA. Accidental discharge injured people on a Sunday morning. The firearm was discharged inside the church security office. Officials: Gun discharge at church security office injures 2 in Lancaster County.

2019 – World Overcomers Church, Hickory Hill, TN. Giovanni Dallas was arrested “after a child found his gun at a Memphis church and fired it. The handgun was on the floor under the bleachers at a basketball game where the suspect had left it temporarily. It was found by a young boy who accidentally discharged the weapon when he picked it up. Man arrested after small child finds his gun at Memphis church and fires it, police say.

2019 – New Life Apostolic Church, Oak Hill, WV. Melinda Frye Toney (pastor’s wife) was arrested on charges she allegedly fired a handgun in the parking lot of the church during an argument. Pastor’s wife charged after firing gun at church in heated argument with youth pastor’s wife.

2019 – Seacoast Church, Mount Pleasant, SC. Peter Rouse (security team member) “accidentally discharged a firearm” inside a church classroom. Man accidentally discharges gun inside Seacoast Church over the weekend.

2019 – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Provo, UT. An elderly man with a firearm in his backpack had an accidental discharge while he was at the church. The bullet shot through a nearby occupied classroom. The man did not have a permit for the weapon. Gun goes off in Provo church, sending bullet into classroom of teens.

2019 – First Baptist Church of Shawnee, Johnson County, KS. Unidentified male accidentally discharged a firearm at the church during open gym. A victim who was shot, was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Police investigate accidental shooting at First Baptist Church of Shawnee.

2018 – Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona, PA. Matthew A. Crawford expelled from college for bringing a “semi-automatic handgun” to an Easter vigil service where it accidentally discharged. Gun incident at Cathedral most troubling. 

2018 – Eglise Baptiste Philadelphie church, Ocala, FL. A man was teaching gun safety to several students when he experienced an accidental discharge. Three of his students were struck and required treatment. 3 girls shot after man discharges gun while teaching safety class in Ocala.

2018 – Mt. Hall Community Church, Bonners Ferry, ID. Unidentified worshiper accidentally discharged his firearm wounding himself in the leg. Minor injury in accidental church shooting.

2018 – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Provo, UT. Elderly man’s gun in backpack accidentally discharged. No injuries, no arrests. Gun accidentally discharged at Provo LDS Church Sunday, no injuries reported.

2017 – The Glade Church, Gladeville, TN. A worshiper attending Easter services accidentally discharged his firearm, a 9 mm Glock he carried in his pocket. No injuries. Man’s gun discharges while attending Easter service at Gladeville church.

2017 – Christian Faith Center, Wilmington, IL. Accidental discharge of a rifle by a 17-year old pastor’s son, killing his 15-year old cousin. No arrest. Teen dies inside Will County church after shot by cousin in ‘tragic accident’.

2017 – First United Methodist Church, Tellico Plains, TN. Elderly couple gathered to discuss carrying concealed as a strategy to confront church shootings. Him and his wife were injured in the accidental shooting by the 81-year-old male who was showing off his handgun. Two hurt in accidental shooting at East Tenn. church during discussion on church shootings.

2017 – Christian Faith Center, Wilmington, IL. Unidentified 17-year old (pastor’s son) entered church with rifle thinking it was being burglarized. The firearm was accidentally discharged hitting and killing a 15-year old. Church Shooting A Tragic Accident.

2017 – First Baptist Church, Chattanooga, TN. Unidentified male accidentally shot himself in the head. Student shot in head after accidental discharge of gun.

2016 – Davis Street Baptist Church, Sulphur Springs, TX. Unidentified male shot accidentally shot himself in the foot at the church. He allegedly possessed a concealed carry permit. Texas Man Accidentally Shoots Himself In The Foot In Church.

2016 – Clarion Hotel (church), Colorado Springs, CO. “An armed security guard was working a service” and had an accidental discharge. Armed security guard accidentally discharges gun at church service.

2015 – Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, PA. Accidental discharge by a parishioner who was carrying a firearm in his pants pocket. When he stood up from kneeling, the firearm discharged. Man accidentally fires handgun during Easter mass at Pennsylvania church.

2013 – Pinelake Church, Flowood, MS. Joseph Edgar Ray went to sit down after singing in church, to which his pocket gun discharged. He was arrested and charged with “discharging a firearm in the city limits.” More information about a man whose gun went off in church.

2013 – Salem Lutheran Church School, Stillwater, MN. Accidental discharge of a firearm by a firearms safety instructor. No injury. Gun safety teacher accidentally fires weapon in Minnesota classroom.

2012 – Grace Connection Church, St. Petersburg, FL. Moises Zambrana negligently discharged a firearm he was showing an interested buyer as he stood in a church closet to conceal the act. The bullet hit the pastor’s daughter in the head, killing her. No charges were filed. Woman, 20, dies after freak US church shooting.

2012 – St. Patrick Catholic Church, Wentzville, MO. An unidentified permit holder accidentally shot a man “in the chest” as he left a fundraising event at the church. The .38 cal. Cobra Derringer was carried “in the man’s coat pocket.” No charges filed for accidental shooting in Wentzville church.