A prominent bishop said it was divine intervention that no events were scheduled at a Hall County church last Wednesday night.
That’s after police announced they arrested a 16-year-old girl who allegedly planned to visit the predominantly black church that night and kill those inside.
The teen, who is white, planned to attack the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, according to Gainesville police.
“Our investigation indicated the church was targeted by the juvenile based on the racial demographic of the church members,” police Chief Jay Parrish said Tuesday in a news release. “The church was immediately notified of the incident by Gainesville police to ensure the safety of our community and the current threat was under control.”
It’s not clear how the girl planned to carry out the alleged attack, but Parrish said the teen collected knives.
Gainesville Police Chief says 16 yr old girl collected knives and planned attack on Bethel AME Church. Cops say she had gone to church once , but no one was there . She is in custody charged as juvenile . @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/85XAkY3pV4
— Tony Thomas (@TonyThomasWSB) November 19, 2019
Gainesville High School administrators learned of the alleged plot from students who told them the girl had a notebook with “detailed plans to commit murder” at the church, Parrish said.
Administrators notified school resource officers Friday and opened an investigation. They verified the threat and turned the investigation over to Gainesville police, who took the girl into custody, Parrish said.
She was charged with criminal attempt to commit murder and taken to the Gainesville Regional Youth Detention Center.