Former NBC Producer Threatens To Blow Up Church; Pulls Gun On Baby and Worshippers
A former NBC producer, known for her anti-Christian views, terrorized a Christian church with a gun on Easter Sunday, threatening to blow up the church and kill her own baby, before being arrested by police.
The San Diego Police Department have identified the woman who terrorized the Easter Day service in the auditorium of the Mount Everest Academy as Anna Conkey, 31, a former digital producer for NBC 7.
According to police, Anna Conkey emailed NBC five minutes before she stormed the church, alerting the network that an armed women was about to blow up the church, and that a child was involved.
According to 7 San Diego, a non-denominational church was holding an Easter Sunday service when the former NBC producer appeared and began making threats about blowing up the foundations of the church.
Benjamin Wisan, the head pastor, described the terrifying ordeal experienced by the Christian worshippers after Conkey entered the church brandishing a handgun and issuing threats.
“This girl came through the back of the stage. She had a baby and a gun,” said Benjamin Wisan.
Wisan said Conkey seemed very agitated and frustrated and “not in her right mind.“
The pastor instructed the congregation to stand up and leave the auditorium. As he distracted Conkey, he said some ushers and church members came from behind and grabbed her to remove the weapon and save the child and congregation from harm.
NBC 7 spoke with David Michael Miller, a member of the U.S Army, who was one of the men who tackled her.
“I was slowly approaching watching them talk her down. She was being very apprehensive pointing the gun at them pointing the gun at her baby saying don’t come any closer,” said Miller.
“After she started pointing the gun at the baby one of the older gentlemen grabbed it from her and then me and a couple of other men tackled her,” said David Michael Miller.
“We got the baby away from her. A few minutes after that, the cops came in. She was trying to run away or something so a cop tackled her through a row of chairs. They arrested her and pulled another gun out of her bra.”
The building was swept by bomb-sniffing dogs because of threatening statements made by the former NBC producer.
Anna Conkey, 31, was charged with three counts of making criminal threats, one count of attempting to make a threat, child abuse, interfering with an officer, possessing a gun in a school zone, making a false bomb report and misdemeanor interfering with a religious service.
Her semi-automatic pistol was not loaded, but police found ammunition at her home later, Deputy District Attorney Matthew Greco said.
He said Conkey, who spent six years as a Navy mass communication specialist before attending San Diego State University, faces more than 23 years in state prison if convicted of all charges.
Her husband, Zach Conkey, currently serves in the Navy and is on deployment on the East Coast.
After leaving the Conkey, went on to work as a freelance journalist.a blogger and former NBC 7 news employee who has had commentaries published in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Joseph Brannigan set Conkey’s bail at $1 million and issued protective orders to keep her away from the church, its pastor and her two children, at Greco’s request.
“It’s clear that mental issues will play a role in this case,” the prosecutor said out of court, noting that it will be up to her attorney whether to request a mental competency hearing or possibly plead insanity as a defense.
In the days leading up to the incident, Conkey posted a series of videos on YouTube under the name “HeavenlyFrequency,” as well as on her Facebook account, where she discussed religious theories. Family members stated to NBC San Diego that the videos were a cause for concern.
“I’ve been experiencing the rapture since January 12th,” Conkey said in video posted on the YouTube channel just hours before the incident. “I defeat Satan, and Satan is the adversary.”
San Diego police said that shortly before noon on Sunday, Conkey walked onto the stage of Church TsidKenu, which holds services at Mt. Everest Academy, and waved around a gun with one hand while holding her 10-month-old baby with the other hand.
Greco said Conkey, who has attended the non-denominational church, told the congregants “they were all going to die” and threatened to blow up the building. She is alleged to have aimed the gun at her child’s head and at the congregation. While the church’s founding pastor, Brother Ben Wisan, got most of the 100 congregants out of the building, several stayed behind and tried to talk to Conkey, Wisan said in an interview.
They ended up tackling and disarming her, and taking away her baby, shortly before officers got there.
The church members released her and gave the pistol to an officer, but Conkey lunged at him to get the gun away, Greco said. She was subdued after a short scuffle.
The church name is taken from the Old Testament as a name for God, Jehovah tsidkenu, or “Lord of righteousness,” according to several online Bible dictionaries.
He said that right before the incident, Conkey sent a written statement involving the church to “a former employer” and called 911 to report that a woman with a bomb was at the Clairemont school grounds. There was no bomb at the academy, or at Conkey’s home or vehicle, the prosecutor said.
David Miller, a Navy man, said he was one of several people who stayed in the church to try defusing the situation safely. Miller told OnScene TV the woman was making “crazy comments” about teaching people how to suffer and that there was a need for people to become martyrs.
Greco said the criminal threats charges against Conkey involve the pastor and two unnamed church victims. The attempted threat involved members of the congregation who may not have clearly heard her death threats.