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Texas church standoff ends in arrest

January 10th, 2014 - Comments Off

AMARILLO, Texas — Police reportedly detained a 36-year-old man who hid inside the auditorium of Hillside Christian Church in the 6100 Soncy Road about noon Wednesday.

Reports say the incident prompted church leaders to lock down the campus and dozens of officers to surround the area.

Cpl. Jerry Neeufeld said police convinced David Michael Stoltz to leave the sanctuary and he was taken into custody about 1 p.m. He said no one was injured.

Hillside Executive Pastor Bob Schroeder said everyone inside the church was safe and deferred all other questions about the situation to police.

Police responded to the call about 11:45 a.m. The man had made statements that could be perceived as threatening to church leaders during online conversations, police said. The statements included references to Satan, police said.

While police were on their way to the church, they learned Stoltz had made some “very vague” threats to church employees as well as delusional statements that made employees feel concerned for their safety, Neufeld said.

Church leaders decided to lock down the building, but Stoltz already had entered the building, and police prepared to enter. Before police entered, they made contact with Stoltz by cellphone and he told police he was in the sanctuary.

Officers took him into custody without further incident, Neufeld said. Stoltz was booked into the Randall County jail on a trespassing charge, but additional charges are possible, Neufeld said.

DPS records show Stoltz was previously convicted for manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, forgery and criminal mischief.

Police are not certain whether Stoltz is a member of the church. Neufeld said the man was not carrying any weapons. He said officers searched the campus to be on the safe side.

Meanwhile, Hillside leaders at the church would not discuss the incident.

“Thank you for your prayers and concern during the security situation at the Amarillo West Campus today” the church’s Facebook page stated Wednesday afternoon.

Mfrances is a staff writer for CatholicFavors.com where you can buy the finest in Swarovski sterling silver rosariesSwarovski 24KT gold over sterling silver rosariesCzech 24KT gold over sterling silver rosaries, and other religious gift ideas.

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