Surveillance footage has been released showing a California woman brandishing a gun in one hand and her 10-month-old baby in the other while threatening to blow up a church during a service.
The San Diego Police Department released the video on Friday showing 31-year-old Anna Conkey, a Navy veteran and former NBC intern at NBC San Diego, threatening members of a Easter Sunday church service.
Minutes prior to this incident, she sent en email saying she was going to ‘blow up’ the church.
In the video, Conkey can be seen holding a handgun in her right hand while propping her ten-month-old baby on her hip with the other hand.
She appears to have stormed the auditorium’s center stage during the service to intimidate the congregation.
Pastor Ben Weisen, who was conduction the Easter service, stands in front of Conkey and tries to deescalate the frightening situation
‘I want all you guys to just get down and pray,’ he says, ‘just get down and pray.’
He then tells ushers to help escort people outside and ‘don’t worry.’
During Conkey’s preliminary trial held on Friday, Weisen shared what he witnessed during the incident.
‘She said you don’t know what it means to be willing to die. She had a baby and a gun and we had a pretty good feeling that she was going to get shot and maybe some of our people were going to get shot,’ reports NBC 4i.
In an attempt to keep churchgoers calm, Weisn said the gun was a taser instead.
‘I thought, first I’m pretty sure that’s a real gun and then I thought, OK there’s something that looks like a laser and I know this would keep people a lot calmer so I’m just gonna say it’s a taser out loud.’
He also reportedly tried to convince Conkey to put down the weapon before authorities reached the service.
He said: ‘Anna you gotta put that down the police are coming in really hot and they don’t know it’s a taser you gotta put it down right now.’
Weisner said Conkey has previously disrupted services in the weeks before the frightening disturbance.
He says he tried to set up a meeting with Conkey, but it fell through.
Conkey (pictured) is a Navy veteran and worked as an intern at NBC San Diego before her terrifying outburst
Conkey pleaded not guilty to several felony charges, including false report of a bomb, child abuse and making criminal threats.
On April 21, Conkey walked into the Easter service being held at Mt. Everest Academy threatening to ‘blow up’ the building.
She emailed a news tip to her former employer five minutes before entering the church, according to NBC San Diego.
The email said: ‘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. The address is 4350 Mount Everest Blvd San Diego, CA 92117. There are about 70 people in the auditorium of the school where the church service is held.’
Church members were able to overpower Conkey and disarm her before authorities arrived.
The gun was apparently not loaded.
Her 10-month-old baby and her 5-year-old child were taken into protective custody following the incidents.
Before she stormed the church service, Conkey shared hour-long videos on her YouTube channel in which she said there was ‘great deception’ happening in churches and synagogues.
She also posted rants on her social media, including one where she called the Bible a ‘trap.’
She was held on a $200,000 bail at the Las Colinas Detention Facility.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Lauren Edmonds