Boise police were called at about 12:45 p.m. Sunday to the parking lot of Red Rock Christian Church, 1124 S. Roosevelt St., to a report of a “possible armed suspect.”
The suspect, police say, was Brandon Richards, 36, who is now charged with disturbing the peace.
Richards had apparently walked into the church right after its morning service and was told he had just missed it. Police say he then returned to his vehicle and started waving around what looked like a handgun, both inside and out of the vehicle.
The Senior Pastor of Red Rock, Rene Jensen said, in a statement, that Richards had regularly attended service and that the church had tried to reach out to him.
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“The church had been helping Brandon in a variety of ways, including buying him a new pair of shoes, giving him a coat, listening to his pain, praying with him, inviting him to church dinners, and welcoming him to our worship services,” Jensen said in the statement.
He had appeared at the church that Sunday during the youth and children’s service after worship was over. A pastor attempted to calm Richards and figure out what could help him, but saw that he was agitated. When they saw him in his car with a pellet gun, they could not determine that it was a less lethal weapon and called 911 for Richard’s and the children’s protection, Jensen said in the statement.
“Red Rock continues to be committed to a ministry with all people, regardless of economic status, color, or creed,” Jensen said in the statement.
Police later confirmed Richards had a pellet gun.
Richards remained in the Ada County Jail Tuesday on $100 bond. He has a pretrial for the disturbing the peace charge scheduled for Jan. 23.
It appears Richards was also charged earlier this month with driving under the influence, and has a pretrial in that case set for Jan. 19.
Court records indicate he is on probation for convictions in 2014 of disturbing the peace and resisting officers, with a little less than 180 days in unserved jail time as a possible punishment.