Attempted Armed Robbery at Church Sparks Need for Safety Trainin - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Attempted Armed Robbery at Church Sparks Need for Safety Training

Posted: 12/11/2017 22:33:00 -05:00 Updated:
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church Parish Hall St. Andrew's Episcopal Church Parish Hall

PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- After police say an attempted armed robbery happened at the St. Andrew's Episcopal Church Parish Hall in Princess Anne last Thursday night, now neighbors are anxious to attend an active shooter training sponsored by local police agencies. 

Princess Anne police say during a church meeting a light-skinned black man wearing all black clothing walked into the Parish Hall and pointed a holster at parishioners.  Police say they believe a handgun was inside the holster. 

The visiting pastor conducting the meeting was able to stand up to the suspect and asked him to leave, which he did, according to police.  Police say the man left with nothing after attempting to rob the church members of their cellphones.

Tom Smith was at the Parish Hall on Thursday night setting up for the meeting. He said the congregation is on high-alert now. 

"Everybody is up in alarm," Smith said. "Concerned because it is in an area where you would think you would be safe and it doesn't appear to be that way."

Smith hopes this makes others aware of their safety and surroundings.

"To make this act upon something that could happen to us anywhere, but not a church.  That would be the last place that you would think, a church or a parishioner, that someone would come in to do a hold up," Smith said. 

It is this reason that makes people, like Mary Misencik, want to attend an active shooter training now being offered by a couple of Sheriff's Offices. 

"The sheriff of Somerset County is going to be going to churches and giving a seminar on how to protect the churches and the community," Misencik said. 

Misencik says she was disheartening that an incident like this would happen in the small town of Princess Anne.

"It's shocking.  I just don't know what's coming of the world. It's really shocking that things are happening like this," Misencik said. 

Active Shooter Training Sessions are starting on Wednesday, hosted by the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office at 6 p.m. at Allen Memorial Baptist Church in Salisbury.  The next Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. the Somerset County Sheriff's Office will be hosting a training seminar at the Princess Anne Fire Department. 

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