A truck driver was arrested by the FBI in Indianapolis and charged with planning a mass shooting at a church in Memphis, Tennessee after friends informed law enforcement of his threats.
Thomas Matthew McVicker, 38, was taken into custody by federal agents before the plan could be carried out, according to court papers filed Monday.
McVicker allegedly made “credible threats to conduct a mass shooting and suicide” to acquaintances who informed the FBI, according to affidavits.
A female friend of McVicker’s in southern Alabama told a Florida FBI agent that he “intended to take his knife and slit the pastor’s throat” on Thursday while also “shooting a church up,” the Associated Press reported.
His friend told law enforcement that McVicker largely lives out of a semi-truck, while his mother told police that he has abused methamphetamine and cocaine in the past and owns one handgun.
According to WTTV in Indianapolis, court documents state that McVicker texted to a friend, “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 wrote. “So I think I’m just gonna kill some people on the street and get away with it then kill myself.”
When his friend urged him to get some help, McVicker replied, “I’m telling you there won’t be a glorious turnaround for me, I’m going to be gone soon forever.”
The FBI says it confirmed with McVicker’s employer that he requested leave time Thursday and that he indicated in the request that he would spend the leave time in Memphis, the affidavit states.