Va. Police Thwart 'Diabolical Plot to Kill Churchgoers'

Sept. 27, 2023
Authorities in Fairfax and Prince William counties worked together to apprehend a 35-year-old man who allegedly was found with a loaded pistol and knife inside a church he made threats about online.

Virginia police stopped a "diabolical plot to kill churchgoers" after arresting a man inside a church who was armed with a loaded semi-automatic pistol and a folding knife.

A tip led to the apprehension of Rui Jiang by police Sunday, ABC News reports. A woman in Maryland had called Anne Arundel County police about "vague threats" and other suspicious Instagram posts made by Jiang, 35, concerning the Park Valley Church in Haymarket, Virginia.

Anne Arundel County authorities contacted Fairfax County police, who went to Jiang's home in Falls Church. When he wasn't found there, Fairfax County police alerted police in Prince William County, where the Park Valley Church is located.

"In the postings, vague threats of violence were made, some of which included images of a location later determined to be Park Valley Church," Prince William County police said.

That's when an off-duty Prince William County police officer working an assignment at the church discovered Jiang's car outside. A suspicious person identified as Jiang was detained without incident inside the church.

An investigation later found a "kill manifesto" at Jiang's home. No details were given concerning the manifesto. 

"This was a thwarted diabolical plot to kill churchgoers in Haymarket, Virginia, and local law enforcement stopped it," said Fairfax Police Chief Kevin Davis.

Jiang was arrested and charged with making threats of bodily harm and carrying a dangerous weapon in a place of religious worship. His bond hearing is set for Wednesday.

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