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Woman in body armor shows up at church, points loaded gun at people walking into service — but detective is in attendance too
Image source: Cumberland County, Pa. communications

Woman in body armor shows up at church, points loaded gun at people walking into service — but detective is in attendance too

A woman wearing body armor and carrying two guns showed up at a Pennsylvania church Sunday morning and threatened people walking into the service, state police told WGAL-TV.

What happened?

Amber Espigh, 31, is accused in the incident at Bethel Assembly of God in the 1400 block of Holly Pike in South Middleton Township, the station said, which is about a half-hour southwest of Harrisburg.

Espigh said she was looking for a priest and intended to hold the person hostage, WGAL reported, citing charging documents.

Cumberland County District Attorney Sean McCormack told the station a county detective who was attending the service asked Espigh to leave, but she refused.

Police said Espigh then loaded a gun and pointed it at the detective and others, WGAL reported, adding that no shots were fired.

The station said the detective eventually convinced her to holster the weapon.

State police on Tuesday told TheBlaze it appears the suspect was outside the church building the entire time but was trying to enter.

State police said they were dispatched to the church just after 10 a.m. and that church attendees "engaged in conversation" with the suspect until police arrived and took her into custody "without incident." Police added there were no injuries.

"We avoided what could be a very tragic incident," McCormack told WGAL. "We were lucky."

What happened to the suspect?

The station said Espigh is facing numerous criminal charges, including:

  • risking catastrophe
  • unlawful body armor
  • harassment
  • simple assault
  • firearms not to be carried without a license
  • terroristic threats

She was listed Tuesday morning as an inmate at Cumberland County Prison. Bail is set at $500,000, WGAL reported.

McCormick said given that the suspect showed up at a church with a rifle and handgun, the bail amount is "appropriate," the station said.

Police told WGAL that Espigh was involved in a burglary earlier in the morning in Fairview Township, York County.

Armed woman wearing body armor threatens churchgoers in Cumberland Countyyoutu.be

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