YouTube videos and a Kanye West song held messages from God for the woman who walked into an Easter service with a gun and threatened the congregation, a San Diego police document suggests.
Anna Conkey, 31, was interviewed by investigators with the San Diego Police Department in the hours after she walked into the auditorium of the Mount Everest Academy, where the non-denominational Tsidkenu Church was having Easter service.
In the interview, the suspect described herself as a "seer" who was instructed by God to launch a YouTube channel in January and who often receives encouraging messages from God, specifically through the lyrics of a Kanye West song.
Conkey was arrested April 21 and charged with eight felonies including making a false report of a bomb threat through a 911 call she made moments before.
In the interview with police, the suspect said she was prepared to die that day but that she knew no one would be hurt.
The conversation was documented in the SDPD's request for a restraining order to prevent Conkey from owning a gun.
The handgun Conkey brought into the service was unloaded, police said. The suspect's father had bought the gun under her name several years ago, according to the document.
Prosecutors said the gun, which was registered to Conkey under her maiden name, was not loaded but ammunition was discovered by police at her home in Bonita.
Messages From God
Conkey was born in Japan and her father worked as a religion programs specialist in the U.S. Navy. He and her mother live in Florida.
She told police officers she was known in the church as a “seer” and hears very clearly from God. The ability to receive dreams and visions runs through her family, she told the officers.
In the interview, she told officers that God revealed more things to her beginning in October. She initially thought she was supposed to work miracles and spread good news but that in January, she was instructed to start a YouTube channel regarding her beliefs.
Conkey also told the police that she felt God was speaking through her in songs. One song she mentioned was “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” by Kanye West. Conkey referenced the lyric, “Act more stupidly,” according to the police document.
“She described the lyrics to this song described her whole situation,” the document states.
“She explained that God had a message for her with every video that she opened on YouTube,” according to the police investigator.
The morning before the incident, she spoke via Facetime with her husband who is enrolled in the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School in Rhode Island, according to the document. She told officers she did not discuss her visions with her husband. The couple have two children who are now with family.
She told police she used the gun to get the attention of the church and be taken seriously.
Other statements made in the interview indicate Conkey expected to be shot by the police.
A DVD found in the church’s mail in the storage room at the school had the words “ARE YOU READY TO DiE” on the outside of the sleeve in black sharpie, according to the document.
However, when asked about the DVD, Conkey eyes widened and she told the officer that she was not responsible for it, according to the document.
'Everyone Is Going to Die'
There were about 100 people in the church when Conkey entered and told the congregation, "everyone is going to die," according to witnesses.
Tsidkenu Church head pastor Benjamin Wisan said Conkey was speaking random words which were confusing to him. Another witness described her comments as "delusional."
According to Wisan, Conkey had to be removed from a service a week earlier. She allegedly attempted to take over the service from the pastor, witnesses said.
At the suspect's initial court hearing, the judge issued a protective order saying Conkey could not interact with her children, the pastor of the church, and that she could not come near Mount Everest Academy.
Conkey was ordered held at the Las Colinas Detention Facility on $1 million bail. She faces more than 23 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
Conkey, an SDSU graduate and former communications specialist in the U.S Navy, was a former intern and freelance digital producer for NBC 7.
Minutes before the incident, an email was sent to NBC 7 from an account with the name "Anna Conkey." The email was sent as a news tip.
"There’s a woman claiming to be the messiah, saying she was sent to blow up the foundation of the Church—she’s got a gun and a child is involved. Address is 4350 Mount Everest Blvd San Diego, CA 92117. There’s about 70 people in the auditorium of the school where the church service is held," the message said.
Conkey told police she notified her former employer to let them know to send someone out to document what she expected to happen.
Conkey is scheduled to be back in court on May 3.