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Bailey’s Crossroads man arrested for online threats of violence against church

Park Valley Church in Haymarket (via Google Maps)

A Bailey’s Crossroads resident has been arrested after allegedly threatening violence at a church in Haymarket.

Rui Jiang, 35, posted multiple “threatening” messages to his Instagram account on Sunday (Sept. 24), including ones where he pointed a gun at pictures of churches, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

The messages led a community member to alert the Anne Arundel County Police Department, whose officers determined that Jiang lives in Fairfax County. The FCPD says it was asked to conduct a welfare check at 9:22 a.m.

“Mason Patrol officers responded to his home in the 5600 block of Seminary Road,” the FCPD said in a news release. “They determined Jiang was not home. Based on the messages shared on Instagram, officers believed Jiang was at the Park Valley Church in Haymarket.”

Fairfax County officers then contacted the Prince William County Police Department at 10 a.m., suggesting that it check Park Valley Church to see if Jiang was there.

Police said church staff had been “monitoring a suspicious person on the premises” at the same time that an off-duty Prince William County officer handling traffic outside found Jiang’s car in the parking lot, Inside NoVA reported.

Jiang arrived at the church at 10:12 a.m. and was promptly taken into custody by Prince William police, according to the FCPD.

“The accused apparently entered the building through a separate door and had been inside the location prior to being stopped,” the Prince William County Police Department said in a news release. “Church services were going on at the time, no injuries were reported. The accused was found to be in possession of a loaded handgun, an additional magazine, a folding knife, and a folding ‘credit card’ style knife.”

Jiang has a concealed weapon permit, and the firearm was not reported stolen, according to the PWCPD.

Jiang has been charged in Prince William with threats of bodily harm and carrying a dangerous weapon to a place of worship. He’s being held at the county’s jail without bond.

The FCPD says its new threat assessment managment unit, which launched earlier this month, has been assisting with the investigation.

“TAM detectives assisted with the execution of a search warrant at Jiang’s home,” Fairfax County police said. “Evidence supporting Jiang’s intent to cause harm was recovered from the scene. Detectives will work with our multidisciplinary team to determine the appropriate resources for threat mitigation and management of the case.”

Photo via Google Maps