Man Planning Church 'Mass Murder' Arrested in Mississippi: Police

A Mississippi man has been arrested after he allegedly claimed to have planned a mass murder at his church, according to police.

Lee County Sheriff's (LCS) Department said officers went to the home of Ryan C. Evans, 20, on November 12 after they received a tip from the FBI about a "credible" threat to commit mass murder at a church.

In a Facebook post shared on Monday, an LCS spokesperson said: "The information received from the FBI was deemed credible and the Lee County Sheriff's Department immediately began investigating the threat.

"Upon further investigation, it was determined an individual made a comment on a social media platform that he was planning 'a mass murder' at his church the next Sunday. The post was not specific as to which church, just that it was his church."

The LCS's statement, seen by Newsweek, continued: "Acting on the information gathered from the FBI top and investigation, it was determined the individual residing in the Saltillo area."

Investigators and deputies then went to Evans' home where they executed an arrest warrant and took him into custody without incident.

Evans was then charged with making a terroristic threat and Judge Chuck Hopkins set his bond at $100,000.

The LCS spokesperson added: "The actions taken upon receiving this information prevented the potential act from being carried out. Such threats are always taken seriously and will not be tolerated."

Newsweek has contacted the LCS Department for comment.

According to Mississippi law, a person is defined as having committed a terroristic threat when they threaten to carry out "a crime of violence or a threat to cause bodily injury to another person if the threat does in fact cause a reasonable expectation or reasonable fear of the imminent commission of an offense."

A person found guilty of making a terroristic threat is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections for no more than 10 years.

Earlier this month, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a terror advisory amid a "heightened threat environment" across the U.S.

The DHS advisory said: "Through the remainder of 2021 and into 2022, domestic violent extremists (DVEs), including racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists and anti-government/anti-authority violent extremists, will continue to pose a significant threat to our homeland."

The advisory added that potential violence could occur due to several upcoming "religious holidays and associated mass gatherings that in the past have served as potential targets for acts of violence."

The advisory will remain active until the evening of February 8, 2022.

Ryan C. Evans was arrested in Mississippi
Ryan C. Evans was arrested in Mississippi, according to police. Police handout/ Getty