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Truck driver sentenced after threatening to ‘shoot up’ a church, police say


A truck driver was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday after threatening to ‘shoot up’ a church in Tennessee and “kill some people on the street… then kill myself.”

McVicker will spend two years in prison with three years of supervised release and required mental health care. He will also be required to forfeit all guns and ammunition. 

According to The Wichita Eagle, the 39-year-old driver, Thomas Matthew McVicker, sent text messages to his friend in August of last year, outlining his plans to hurt himself and others. 

“I was thinking about shooting a church up but I’m afraid how it will affect my family in the flesh after I’m gone,” the messages read. 

“So I think I’m just gonna kill some people on the street and get away with it then kill myself,” he wrote.

The friend then reported McVicker and the messages to police, who quickly contacted McVicker’s mother. She disclosed to officers that her son is on medication for schizophrenia, owned a Ruger P90 handgun, was living out of his truck, and that he had planned to take time off work in Memphis on August 22nd, 2019. 

Just two days later, the same friend contacted law enforcement after a phone call with McVicker that he described as “erratic,” during which McVicker threatened to shoot up a church in Memphis. 

“(The friend) stated that McVicker was speaking in a frantic manner and told her that he intended to take his knife and slit the pastor’s throat,” court filings state.

Agents then confirmed with McVicker’s company that he had requested time off and obtained a warrant for his arrest. 

Mcvicker was detained on August 16th in Indianapolis while on his way to Memphis. He had the Ruger P90 in his possession, as well as five magazines, one magazine assist loader and two full boxes of 50 rounds of ammunition.

Once arrested, Mcvicker told agents that  “he never intended to kill others, only commit suicide,” and that “he felt like the only solution was to end it all or commit himself to a state hospital.” He also admitted to understanding the difference between right and wrong, lessening the possibility for claims of ‘insanity’ in court. 

McVicker pleaded guilty to sending threatening interstate communications in April, which led to his 2-year prison sentence on Friday, three years less than the maximum sentence for his crime. Additionally, the judge did not issue the potential $250,000 fine, and instead opted for McVicker to pay only $100 in special assessments. 


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