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Man brings handgun, assault rifle into church

Published: Mar. 27, 2016 at 4:05 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 28, 2016 at 9:06 AM CDT
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(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A church congregation is counting their blessings after a man made his way inside service with multiple guns on Easter Sunday.

Police said security told them they saw a man who was carrying multiple guns in the sanctuary.

"Why would you bring a weapon of any kind to the sanctuary on Resurrection Sunday?" questioned Emmanuel Cole, who was reacting to the news.

Police later identified Marcus Donald, 31, as the suspect. Officers found him with a loaded .40 caliber handgun in his pocket and an assault rifle in his backpack. The security guard at the church, who is an off-duty Memphis police officer, was able to apprehend Donald and take him into custody without incident.

Donald told police that people in society are a threat to him and he must be vigilant.

Police arrested Donald and took him to a medical center for a mental evaluation.

It's not clear if Donald was a member of the church or if he had a gun carry permit, but a church spokesperson said that no weapons are allowed on campus. He said only authorized people who are cleared by security are able to carry guns. 

Some people say, after last year's Charleston church shooting where nine people were killed, the thought of someone having a gun inside of a church is scary.

"We shouldn't be worried about someone bringing a weapon or threat in the sanctuary," Cole said.

"It's Easter; why would you want that to happen?" Tiara Jones asked.

The church posted this on twitter:

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.