Falls Church man accused of plotting mass shooting at church in Haymarket indicted on federal hate crime

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A Falls Church man accused of bringing a gun, ammo and knives to a Haymarket church last September with the intent of bringing “injury and death” to the congregation has now been indicted for a federal hate crime.

On Wednesday, a federal jury returned an indictment against Rui Jiang, 35, charging him with “attempting to obstruct the congregants of the Park Valley Church in Haymarket, Virginia, in the free exercise of their religious beliefs,” according to

“The indictment charged that his attempted act involved a dangerous weapon and an attempt to kill, and included both a threats count and a firearms violation,” the release said.

According to court documents, Jiang began posting online threats against the Park Valley Church on the evening of Sept. 23. On the morning of Sept. 24, police began searching for Jiang in response to a concerned citizen’s call about his online posts.

Police officers located Jiang at the front entrance to the Park Valley Church while Sunday services were underway.

Jiang was armed with a semiautomatic handgun and two full magazines of ammunition, court documents show.

During a search of Jiang’s apartment, police discovered five copies of a letter, each signed, which read in part, “To the families of those men about to be slain – I am sorry for what I have done and about to do. May your tears not be cried in vain, but to celebrate how your loved ones had lived,” according to the release.

Jiang was arrested and detained by Prince William County police on Sept. 24.

If convicted, Jiang faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison.

After his arrest in September, Prince William police charged Jiang with threats of bodily harm and carrying a dangerous weapon to a place of religious worship.

In December, they placed an additional charge of attempted aggravated murder of multiple persons.

An off-duty, uniformed Prince William officer working a traffic detail at the church on Waverly Farm Drive found the suspect’s unoccupied car in the parking lot the night of the planned attack, police said.

At the same time, staff members at the church were monitoring a suspicious person on the premises.

Not knowing about the threat at the time, Pastor Barry White told Ƶapp News that as Sunday services went on, his security team was already keeping a close eye on the man because he entered the church wearing all black clothing and black sunglasses.

“It was a rainy day; you didn’t really need to wear sunglasses and the fact that he was wearing them and wearing them inside the building … our guys flagged that right off the bat,” White told the radio station.

The off-duty officer and church staff coordinated and detained the man near the entrance without incident.

“It was … a miracle of God,” White said about the fact the police officer was at the church at the time.

Jiang remains held without bond at the Prince William-Manassas regional jail.

Park Valley is a non-denominational church with a congregation of more than 1,500 members.

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