TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Three separate churches in Tyler Thursday morning received phone calls threatening violence, according to Tyler police and church employees.
A man called the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Trinity Lutheran and First Presbyterian Church just after 11 a.m. The man threatened to shoot people at the offices and claimed he was watching them from nearby.
Police searched each church and found no evidence of anyone being on any of their respective properties. One church employee who wished to remain anonymous said they knew the caller was lying about where he was because the office he claimed to be looking into was not visible from the parking lot.
Officer Andy Erbaugh with Tyler Police said the man called from an unidentified number. Officers will also be doing extra patrols for each church.
The St. Gregory Cathedral School, an elementary school next door to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, was warned about the threatening call. In a letter to parents, the school said the police asked them to stay inside for the remainder of the day.
“Out of an abundance of safety, we are asking students not to travel to special classes this afternoon,” the letter said. “We will have a normal dismissal at 3:00 pm. The bus will run. After School Care will be open this afternoon. Students will remain inside the Pre-K classrooms.”
The threats come just over a year since Pastor Mark McWilliams, pastor of the Starville Methodist Church, was shot and killed just before Sunday services.
Mytrez Woolen, an Arlington man who was allegedly running from police for an unrelated crime, is charged with capital murder in his death.
Last month, he was found mentally incompetent to stand trial and is currently receiving psychiatric care until he is deemed fit.