LPD: Facebook post about church shooting may lead to charges

A careless threat about an active shooter during a live-stream church service in Liberty may lead to charges against a 20-year-old Kountze man, police say.

The church – Open House Ministries, located in the 3600 block of Main Street – was broadcasting its service Sunday morning on Facebook when the Kountze man said, “Wheres the shooter I wanna see another shooting again.”

His comment was reported to Liberty Police Department, which responded in full force.

“We responded and determined that there was no active shooter. We made sure to search every part of the building to check for threats and found none,” said Lt. Chip Fairchild, spokesperson for Liberty Police Department.

Fairchild said his agency reached out to the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, where the alleged threat originated, to have someone make contact with the 20-year-old man who reportedly made the comment online. Fairchild said the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office is dealing with a similar type of incident that may also have been made by the Kountze man.

“We don’t know the details of their incident but no one was in danger in ours,” he said. “We will be following up today to see if this threat meets all the requirements in the criminal code for charges to be filed. If it does, then we will be in contact with our prosecutor, and we will go from there.”

Fairchild said the Facebook post was reckless, particularly in light of recent church shootings.

“When you make a careless comment like that, you can cause an emergency for many people,” he said.

According to Fairchild, the incident should be a wake-up call to all churches.

“Churches need to have a good security plan in place. Make your church members aware of what it is. I know it seems hard but maybe you should also practice your response. Then make contact with your local law enforcement and let them know about your plan,” Fairchild recommends. “Sadly this has become a reality for us these days.”

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