San Diego

Woman Accused of Threatening Easter Service Posted Religious Rants on YouTube

The pastor of the church said the woman seemed extremely agitated, extremely frustrated, and not in her right mind.

The woman accused of threatening to shoot congregants and blow up a Clairemont church during an Easter Sunday service has been charged with multiple felonies including assault with a firearm and child cruelty.

The San Diego Police Department identified the woman Sunday as Anna Conkey, a 31-year-old former intern and freelance digital producer for NBC 7. Conkey is also an SDSU graduate and was in the U.S Navy.

Police said Conkey walked into the auditorium of the Mount Everest Academy Sunday afternoon, where the non-denominational Tsidkenu Church was having Easter service, and began making threats.

SDPD said Conkey threatened to blow up the church while she waved a handgun. 

Witness David Michael Miller, one of several who disarmed and subdued Conkey until police arrived, said Conkey pointed the gun at the congregation, at herself and at her baby as he and others approached her.

"She was being very apprehensive, pointing the gun at them, pointing the gun at her baby, saying 'Don't come closer, don't come any closer,'" Miller, a member of the U.S Army, said.

No shots were fired, and Conkey or her 10-month-old child were not injured.

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.

SDPD said officers arrived at the auditorium within two minutes of the initial emergency call and took Conkey into custody. Police confirmed the gun she had was not loaded. During their investigation, police used bomb-sniffing dogs to search the school. 

"Because of some quick-thinking parishioners here at the scene she was quickly subdued before anything really bad could happen," SDPD Lt. Christian Sharp said.

Conkey's baby was taken into protective custody after the incident, as was her along 5-year-old who was at another location at the time of the incident.

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.

Linda Grace, one of Conkey's neighbors, told NBC 7 the incident was unexpected and out of character.

"I don't know why. I saw her this morning. Why didn't she give me the baby or ask me for help or ask me to go with her or something. She just said she was going to church," Grace said.

Grace also called Conkey a wonderful mother and said she loved her baby "to death."

A cousin of Conkey's told NBC 7 that some of her recent postings on YouTube and social media were a cause for concern.

"I've been experiencing the rapture since January 12th," Conkey said in video posted on the YouTube channel "Heavenly Frequency" just hours before the incident. "If you think just following a holy text is going to save you, you're wrong. Because prophecy is gonna be fulfilled."

Conkey was booked at the Las Colinas Detention Facility and is facing five felonies, including child cruelty, possession of a firearm at a school, making false bomb threats, and two counts of assault with a firearm. 

She is also charged with disturbing a religious meeting and resisting an officer, both misdemeanors.

As fo Monday afternoon her bail was set at $28,500 and she was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Conkey served in the U.S. Navy from 2007 to 2012, achieving rank of Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class. She was awarded a Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.

Police swarmed Conkey's home in Bonita and served a search warrant to enter the home late Sunday night. 

Her husband, who currently serves in the U.S. Navy and is on deployment on the East Coast, was on his way back to San Diego and has not responded to NBC 7's requests for comment.

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