Church members on Sunday tackled a woman carrying a baby and handgun, as she threatened to blow up the church during Easter service, San Diego Police said.
Anna Conkey, 31, brought an unloaded gun to the auditorium at Mount Everest Academy in San Diego, authorities said. CNN affiliate KSWB confirmed the charges against her. She pleaded not guilty and is due back in court next week, the San Diego TV station reported.
Conkey walked onto the auditorium’s stage and waved the handgun while she “made threats that she was going to blow up the church,” police said.
Church Tsidkenu, a nondenominational church, leases Mount Everest for services.
“She was saying stuff that was kind of delusional,” churchgoer Ronald Farmer said. “I was more worried about getting my family out of there.”
Churchgoers took the baby from the woman’s arms and pried the gun from her hands before tackling her to the ground, witnesses said. San Diego police arrived within two minutes of the first call and took the woman into custody, the department said.
She brought her youngest child with her to the church service, and authorities found another daughter, 5, unhurt, the CNN affiliate reported.
A bomb-sniffing dog found nothing in a sweep of the building and the suspect’s car, police said. Police said the gun was not loaded but ammunition matching the gun registered to her was found at her home, authorities told KSWB.
The incident happened amid heightened security at houses of worship following the deadly Easter Sunday bombings that left at least 359 people dead in churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.