Pennsylvania State Police says a woman showed up at a Cumberland County church wearing body armor and carrying two guns.
Amber Espigh, 31, is accused of threatening parishioners Sunday morning as they went into Bethel Assembly of God in the 1400 block of Holly Pike in South Middleton Township.
Charging documents allege Espigh said she was looking for a priest and intended to hold the person hostage.
The district attorney said a Cumberland 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. No shots were fired.
The detective eventually convinced her to holster the weapon.
“We avoided what could be a very tragic incident. We were lucky,” District Attorney Sean McCormack said.
Espigh is charged with the following:
- Risking catastrophe.
- Unlawful body armor.
- Simple assault.
- Firearms not to be carried without a license.
- Terroristic threats.
- Other criminal charges.
She is being held at Cumberland County Prison. Bail is set at $500,000.
“I think in a case like this where someone shows up at a church in body armor with an assault rifle and a handgun, I think that’s an appropriate bail at this point in time,” McCormack said.
Police said they also determined that Espigh was involved in a burglary earlier in the morning in Fairview Township, York County.