CORAL GABLES, FL—A SWAT team rushed through the doors of New Fire Holy Ghost Tabernacle on Wednesday soon after receiving reports of multiple people being slain.
The incident began when an off-duty police officer was enjoying a coffee at a local coffee shop Wednesday morning. Two women entered the establishment while conversing about a church service happening later in the evening, and one woman reportedly stated, “Last week so many people were slain that you couldn’t even walk around because of all the bodies everywhere.” The other reportedly said, “I can’t wait to see how many go down tonight.”
The officer called in the threat immediately. Through further eavesdropping he established that the ladies were discussing a service at the New Fire Holy Ghost Tabernacle in Coral Gables. Warrants were quickly obtained and a SWAT team outfitted and briefed.
At 6:30 p.m. authorities burst through the doors of the busy church to find a chaotic scene. The building was filled with smoke (later determined to be fog from a fog machine) and people were all over the floor crying and convulsing. Others were running around screaming some type of “indecipherable gibberish” and even threatening to “call for fire to fall down on the building,” an apparent reference to arson with homicidal/suicidal intentions.
Medical units arrived on the scene to treat those convulsing and shouting in pain. Everyone was subsequently released with only minor injuries, and no chemical substances were found in any test results, according to sources.
There were no fatalities.
Only one person was detained at the scene. The man, later identified as the pastor of the church, Brother Raul, was arrested after throwing a tambourine at officers while shouting “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus!”
Charges have since been dropped, according to sources.