Man Arrested Minutes Before Planned Mass Shooting at Northern Virginia Church

Authorities have apprehended an individual who, they claim, was just moments away from carrying out a mass shooting at a church in Northern Virginia on Sunday morning.

Rui Jiang, aged 35, was taken into custody at Park Valley Church in Haymarket, found with a loaded firearm and additional ammunition. Law enforcement officials assert that Jiang was on a mission to commit a heinous act.

"This was a thwarted, diabolical plot to kill churchgoers in Haymarket, Virginia… and local law enforcement stopped it," stated Chief Kevin Davis of the Fairfax County Police Department.

Davis emphasized the close call, stating, "Minutes, minutes. The congregation was making their way into the church. He was in the vestibule of the church about to enter. So minutes or seconds away."

The potential catastrophe was averted thanks to a vigilant citizen who noticed troubling posts on Instagram and promptly alerted the police. Several of Jiang's posts displayed him aiming a firearm at images of churches.

"What she saw concerned her enough to call the Anne Arundel Police Department and say, 'Hey, I think something really bad is going to happen,'" Davis explained.

Jiang had reportedly staked out the church early Sunday morning and shared pictures from the parking lot. Concerned for public safety, the citizen notified Anne Arundel County police, who determined that the suspect resided in the Bailey’s Crossroads area of Fairfax County. Local police initiated a welfare check at his residence in the 5600 block of Seminary Road but found Jiang absent.

As the situation escalated, officers requested the immediate involvement of the Prince William County Police Department (PWCPD) to search for Jiang in the vicinity of Park Valley Church. Jiang was arrested at the church shortly after 10 a.m. and was found carrying a loaded semi-automatic pistol, an additional magazine, and a knife.

During a subsequent search of Jiang's home, authorities uncovered a disturbing "kill manifesto."

"[Officers] found a kill manifesto, the likes of which I’ve never read," Davis revealed. "But he also articulated that he didn't know anyone at that church. He articulated that his would-be victims, and he put it out there… He knew he was going to take many lives yesterday and he also said, 'I don’t know any of them.'"

Senior pastor Barry White expressed gratitude that no harm befell his congregation and stated that the church would continue to operate in the same welcoming manner. Jiang is currently facing charges related to threats and bringing a weapon to the church. He is being held without bond.