Man Arrested for Bringing Loaded Firearm and Knives into Virginia Church Following Instagram Threats


Haymarket, VIRGINIA -A man has been apprehended after entering a Virginia church service armed with a loaded gun and knives, in response to what authorities describe as "vague threats" posted on Instagram. The incident triggered a multi-state investigation, as stated by law enforcement.

Rui Jiang, a 35-year-old resident of Falls Church, situated near Arlington, was taken into custody on Sunday. He now faces charges of making threats of bodily harm and carrying a dangerous weapon into a place of religious worship, as announced by the Prince William Police Department in an official press release.

The apprehension transpired at Park Valley Church in Haymarket, approximately 40 miles southwest of Falls Church, shortly after 10 a.m. Local officers were prompted to respond after receiving a warning concerning a "possible threat of violence," according to the department's statement.

Initial information concerning the potential threat originated from an out-of-state source. Police in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, received a report from a resident in Laurel who had come across "suspicious and concerning" posts on Instagram attributed to the suspect. It remains unclear how the Maryland resident stumbled upon these posts or whether they had any prior knowledge of the individual in question.

"In the postings, vague threats of violence were made, some of which included images of a location later determined to be Park Valley Church," relayed the Prince William County police.

Authorities acted swiftly to trace a potential address for Jiang in Falls Church, leading officers from Fairfax County to dispatch personnel to the residence. However, Jiang was not found at the location.

As the investigation progressed, law enforcement in Prince William County was notified of the situation, prompting officers to swiftly mobilize and attend to the Park Valley Church.