RVA pastor: Man threatens churchgoers wielding weapon, screaming racist rants

Published: Jun. 19, 2015 at 2:01 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2015 at 4:21 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond Police responded to a south Richmond church, where witnesses said a man threatened churchgoers.

The threatening situation unfolded Thursday night at United Nations Church International on Midlothian Turnpike. This all happened just one night after the tragic shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

"Lock the door!" screamed church members at United Nations Church International.

Bible study took a terrifying turn when a man showed up screaming racial obscenities.

"Useless *expletive*," shouted the man in cell phone video.

Pastor Orrin Pullings could not believe his ears.

"You all are going to get killed tonight," Pastor Pullings recalls the man saying. "And you *expletive* messed our country up."

The pastor ordered the doors of the church be locked, and church security came running.

"I'm thankful for the Richmond Police Department backing us up tonight," said Pastor Pullings. "Nobody worshiping God should have to deal with such an individual like this."

Witnesses say the man banged on the window with what they initially thought was a machete. They later learned it was an unidentified sharp object.

"In light of what happened in the past 24 hours," said Pastor Pullings. "For him to come to our service tonight and disrupt us like this and make those kind of terroristic threats that he is going to kill us...that's just totally unacceptable."

Police worked late into the night working to determine what charges if any would be filed.

"Police apprehended him and took him to jail," said Pastor Pullings. "We are not sure where he is going, but he should be going to jail."

Police tell NBC12 the man was taken to the hospital for observation. Stay with NBC12 for updates on any possible charges.

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