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Detectives believe the man and woman involved in an incident reported at a Greenville church were the targets of scammers.
The Greenville Police Department responded to St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church on 107 Louis Street Tuesday around 11:30 a.m. for a report of an armed man on the premises.
The man walked into the church and told the pastor he had a gun and was wearing a bulletproof vest. Police say the man told the pastor there was a woman with a gun waiting outside in the church parking lot, and that they were both there to meet someone else.
Investigators say the pastor told the church secretary to evacuate the building, then locked himself in his office and called the police. At no point did the man or woman threaten anyone with their weapons, police said.
Police arrived on scene and quickly detained the man and the woman for questioning.
After an investigation, detectives believe the individuals involved in the incident were the targets of scammers and thereby felt compelled to meet an unknown person at the church.
Police said the man feared for his safety due to the circumstances, and he and his female friend armed themselves as a precaution. No one was injured and the individuals never threatened anyone, police said.
Detectives do not believe there was ever any threat to the public and they do not believe the scammers ever had any intentions of actually meeting at the church.
The man has been admitted to the hospital for further evaluation.
It appears the scammers may be based in a different country; however, detectives will continue to investigate the matter, police said.
Police said the names of those involved will not be released as they have not been charged with a crime.