PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A chilling call led to a scare at a local church, all happening while dozens of people were attending mass.
Pittsburgh Public Safety officials are encouraging people who see something to say something after a threat was made at a local church. Because of that threat, police say they will be monitoring houses of worship throughout the city.
Police say they had to evacuate St. John’s Catholic Church along Saline Street in the city’s Greenfield neighborhood just before noon on Sunday.
“When I opened the door and looked outside, the police told me to get back in the house, they had machine guns,” said a neighbor.
Police say a man made threats to the church, its congregants and himself. He also allegedly told officers he had multiple firearms.
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Officers responded quickly and safely moved all of the people out of the church and checked the area for any threats. Even though the caller reported multiple firearms, police discovered no credible threat inside the church. As of Monday evening, no arrests have been made, but police say they will continue to investigate.
Meanwhile, right around the same time, police also launched an investigation at St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in the city’s Brighton Heights neighborhood.
Public Safety officials say parishioners there were concerned when they saw a congregant who was openly carrying a gun on his hip during the service.
Police spoke with the man, who had a concealed carry permit, and the gun was not reported stolen. All of his information was confirmed, and it was determined that he had not done anything illegal. The firearm was eventually returned to him.
Because of the threat made in Greenfield, police say they will be monitoring churches and houses of worship throughout the city. More information about the increased patrols is expected after a public safety meeting Tuesday.