SEATTLE -- Police arrested a 25-year-old Covington man and seized his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle after he sent a series of threatening messages to pastors at a Seattle church and invoking the mass shooting at a Texas church, telling them it was "time to engage the artillery and kill you all."
On Tuesday, Edeek Goga was charged with felony harassment and bail was set at $100,000. Arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 27.
Police said that in October, Goga began sending emails to two pastors at the Cross and Crown Church at 4554 12th Ave. NE, stating “people are going to get themselves killed now” and “time to engage the artillery and kill you all.”
Then, according to court documents, "A day after a mass shooting at a church in Texas, the defendant e-mailed members of a church organization in Seattle with which he had fallen out: 'It saddens me that you guys weren't the ones shot instead of the ones in Texas. I'm hoping someone finds it in their hurts to burn you all alive in your church building'."
On Nov. 5, a gunman killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Goga's alleged messages were sent to pastors at the Cross and Crown Church. The pastors told police that Goga had not been in contact with any members of the church for about a 18 months, when, they said, he had previously threatened to burn the church down -- an incident that was not reported to police. The pastors told police Goga had become upset with them because they had recommended he seek medical help for past comments he had made.
In addition to the emails, Goga posted a picture on his Facebook page of an assault rifle with a can of ammunition next to it with the caption, "Going on an adventure."
The pastors reported the incidents to police.
On Nov. 9, police arrested Goga and got a court order to seize his weapons. According to court documents, Goga "admitted to detectives to sending the threatening emails because he was angry at the church for not helping him with his depression." He also said "they should have known that he did not intend to carry through with this threat."
"When I spoke to Mr. Goga he was calm, articulate and lucid," a police investigator wrote in the court documents. "He seemed quite capable of being aware that his death threats would be terrifying to their recipient."