Trucker Arrested For Threatening Mass Shooting Has History of Schizophrenia, Drug Use
Indianapolis, IN – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested a Florida trucker on Monday for making threatening statements about carrying out a mass shooting at a church in Memphis.
An affidavit filed in the U.S. District Court of Southern Alabama (USDCSA) says 38-year-old Thomas Matthew McVicker made “credible threats to conduct a mass shooting and suicide,” at an unnamed church in Memphis, which was planned for Thursday, August 22.
The FBI says McVicker was apprehended in Indianapolis on Monday, before he could carry out the threatened attacks.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis said the arrest records are sealed and declined to comment about McVicker.
The unsealed affidavit from USDCSA stated a female friend of McVicker’s from Alabama contacted FBI officers in Florida on August 12 with information that McVicker had been considering “shooting a church up” or “killing people on the street,” before committing suicide.
“I was thinking about shooting a church up but I am afraid how it will affect my family in the flesh after I’m gone,” McVicker texted to his friend on August 9.
He also texted, “So I think I’m just gonna kill some people on the street and get away with it then kill myself.”
Court documents also allege that McVicker told a witness over the phone on August 14 that he planned “shoot up” a church in Memphis.
The friend also informed the FBI the McVicker “intended to take his knife and slit the pastor’s throat,” during Thursday’s alleged planned attack.
No motive was stated, but McVicker’s friend said he claimed “evil entities entered his body and are torturing him,” according to the affidavit.
The FBI’s Tampa division conducted much of the investigation, and reached out to McVicker’s mother and company, among others, following the initial tip, officials said.
The FBI confirmed with McVicker’s employer that he requested leave time Thursday, according to the affidavit.
Authorities also say McVicker indicated in his time-off request that he would be in Memphis during that time.
McVicker’s Facebook page stated he began driving for Marten Transport in December 2018.
The Associated Press reported McVicker’s mother told the FBI he is under treatment for schizophrenia and “sometimes” uses cocaine and methamphetamine.
She also said McVicker owns a Ruger P90 handgun, though it was not immediately clear if the handgun — or any weapon — was on McVicker at the time of his arrest.
Court records reveal McVicker’s driver’s license was suspended in July 2015 after failing to pay a fine for a ticket received in Jefferson County, AL for “driving a truck in an improper lane.”
The fine for the ticket, which was issued in June 2014, was not paid until McVicker’s license was suspended the following year.
He was driving for Swift Transportation at the time, court documents say.
McVicker listed Heartland Express as a previous employer on his social media account as well.