The priest describes the scene at Sunday mass when an armed suspect entered the church

By | September 26, 2023

A Virginia pastor recalled the horrific moments Sunday when a suspect armed with a loaded gun and knives entered his church throughout worship.

Barry White, founder and pastor of Park Valley Church, within the northern city of Haymarket, informed NBC Information that the ten a.m. service had simply begun and music was enjoying when the suspect entered the constructing.

White, who was backstage making ready for worship, stated a member of the church’s security workforce informed him they seen a person arriving by the north entrance, dressed all in black and sporting sun shades whereas inside.

“It was raining and there was no want – nobody was sporting sun shades, not to mention within the constructing. “In order that member instantly stated, ‘Hey, this does not sound correct to me,'” White stated.

“So we tracked him your complete time he was within the constructing.”

In some unspecified time in the future, he left the room and was confronted within the hallway by security employees, White stated.

“As quickly as that occurred, Prince William County police got here,” White stated.

The Prince William Police Division arrested the suspect, Rui Jiang, 35, of Falls Church, Virginia. The suspect was discovered carrying a loaded handgun, in addition to an additional journal, a folding knife and a “bank card” formed folding knife, police stated.

Park Valley Church in Haymarket, Virginia.
Park Valley Church in Haymarket, Virginia.NBC Washington

In accordance with the police press releasean off-duty uniformed officer, was engaged on a element mission on the church, and church employees coordinated to take the suspect into custody “with out incident.”

In the meantime, the worship continued. “It wasn’t till the top, after all of the companies, that I began to get data and see how critical the scenario was,” stated White, who described the incident as a “sobering” second.

Prince William Police stated in a press launch that they acted on data from out of state, after authorities in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, obtained a report from a close-by resident who seen “suspicious and disturbing” Instagram posts from the suspect.

After finding Jiang’s attainable tackle in Falls Church, Fairfax County police despatched officers to the house however didn’t discover him there, in accordance with the discharge. After receiving further data, Prince William County Police have been alerted and dispatched to the scene.

“(Officers) discovered a homicide assertion, the likes of which I’ve by no means learn earlier than,” stated Chief Kevin Davis of the Fairfax County Police Division. Tell NBC Washington. “However he additionally made it clear that he did not know anybody in that church… He knew he was going to take a whole lot of lives yesterday, and he additionally stated, ‘I do not know any of them.'”

Jiang, who’s being held unconditionally, faces expenses of threatening bodily hurt and carrying a harmful weapon into a spot of worship.

The Prince William County public defender’s workplace, which is representing Jiang, didn’t reply to NBC Information’ request for remark.

For the reason that incident, White stated his church is filled with positivity.

“Everybody has been extremely courageous and supported us,” he stated.

White additionally stated he hopes to see the suspect get assist, including that he believes “there may be undoubtedly a psychological well being disaster.”

“Anybody who has confronted any type of trauma or any type of loss, I perceive that. There are church buildings in all places. It takes a village,” White stated. “The underside line is we’re right here. We’re right here to assist anybody who’s hurting in any means, form or kind.

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