A woman carrying a handgun and a baby was tackled to the ground during Easter service at a church in San Diego after she threatened to blow up the building, police said.
Anna Conkey, 31, walked into the auditorium of Mt. Everest Academy, where the nondenominational Church TsidKenu leases space for services, around noon Sunday, according to a statement posted to the San Diego Police Department’s Facebook page.
Holding her 10-month-old baby, Conkey walked onto the stage, waved her gun and threatened to blow up the church, police said. The incident occurred just hours after bombs went off at churches in Sri Lanka during Easter service, killing at least 290 people.
Some congregants fled while others tried to calm down Conkey, The Washington Post reported. As a group of men reportedly approached Conkey, she pointed the gun at them and then her baby, warning them not to come any closer.
“After she started pointing the gun at the baby, one of the older gentlemen grabbed it from her,” David Miller, a Navy service member, told KABC. “And then me and a couple of other men tackled her. We got the baby away from her.”
Police arrived at the scene within two minutes of receiving the first 911 call, according to their statement. The woman was taken into custody.
San Diego Police Lt. Shawn Takeuchi told the Post that Conkey appeared to be delusional.
“It was nonsensical,” Takeuchi said of her threats. “No one can figure out what she was trying to verbalize. There weren’t any direct threats other than, ‘I’m going to blow this place up,’ or something to that effect.”
Police used a bomb detection canine to sweep the building and Conkey’s vehicle. Nothing was found and the area was determined to be safe, police said.
Conkey told police she also has a 5-year-old daughter, whom they located at a nearby day care center, the Post reported. Both children were found to be healthy and unhurt, and they were taken into protective custody, police said.
Authorities obtained a search warrant for Conkey’s home in Bonita located roughly 15 miles south of Mt. Everest Academy.
She is expected to face charges, including making criminal threats and displaying a handgun in a threatening manner, police said.
Conkey was a former mass communications specialist for the U.S. Navy and previously worked as an intern and digital producer for NBC 7 in San Diego, the news station reported.
Five minutes before the incident Sunday at Church TsidKenu, NBC 7 received an email from an account with the name “Anna Conkey” that stated, “There’s a woman claiming to be the Messiah, saying she was sent to blow up the foundation of the Church — she’s got a gun and a child is involved.”
KXTV reported Conkey’s social media pages contained links to a YouTube channel she manages called “Heavenly Frequency,” where she has discussed the Bible and her dreams.
In her most recent video, published Sunday and titled “God is Light and Darkness, Plus Warning About ‘Rapture,’” she claimed “the whole world has been deceived” and encouraged her viewers to “listen” if God should decide to “blow your minds by appearing as someone very unexpected and doing very unexpected things and saying crazy, crazy stuff.”