Affidavit: Florida truck driver threatened to slit pastor’s throat, commit mass shooting at Memphis church

Suspect in custody for Memphis church threats

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - An affidavit filed by the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Southern Alabama details information about a Florida truck driver, Thomas Matthew McVicker, accused of threatening a mass shooting and suicide in Memphis Thursday, Aug. 22.

McVicker’s friend, whose name was redacted from the report, says McVicker lives in his truck and suffers from schizophrenia.

Affidavit: Florida truck driver threatened to slit pastor’s throat, commit mass shooting at Memphis church

The affidavit says McVicker sent his friend a message Aug. 9 that read, “I was thinking about shooting a church up but I’m afraid how it will affect my family in the flesh when I’m gone. So I think I’m going to kill some people on the street then get away with it then kill myself.”

Thomas Matthew McVicker (Source: McVicker friend)
Thomas Matthew McVicker (Source: McVicker friend)

When asked why he would want to kill innocent people, the affidavit says McVicker said, “They put spiritual snakes and spiders in my bed at night."

The affidavit says McVicker also told his friend that evil entities entered his body and are torturing him. His friend told investigators McVicker has been in a mental hospital at least three times and is on medication.

FBI officials also reached out McVicker’s mother who confirmed her son is under treatment and medication for schizophrenia. The report stated McVicker was in possession of a handgun and sometimes uses cocaine and methamphetamine.

On Aug. 14, McVicker’s mother says her son called in an erratic manner and said he was going to shoot up a church when he was in Memphis Aug. 22, according to the report. She told investigators her son said he intended to take a knife and slit the pastor’s throat but did not indicate an exact location where this would happen.

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WMC Action News 5 talked to one of McVicker’s friends of more than 20 years who said although McVicker suffered from schizophrenia, he was on medication and those comments were out of character for him.

“From the bottom of my heart, he wouldn’t hurt a soul. I promise you," said McVicker’s friend who wanted to conceal his identity out of respect for McVicker’s family.

Court records list McVicker’s most recent address in Punta Gorda, Florida.

Over the phone Tuesday, a family friend said McVicker’s family is requesting privacy, however, they’re praying for their loved one and hope he and others get the mental help they need.

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