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Man charged with terroristic threat after incident at Victory Family Church

August 21, 2019 News Extra

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A man is accused of making terroristic threats at Victory Family Church in Cranberry Township during a 6 a.m. prayer meeting Wednesday.

CRANBERRY TWP — A township church was placed on lockdown Wednesday after a man made reference to mass shootings during a service there.

However, officials at Victory Family Church said the steps to involve law enforcement were done out of “an abundance of caution” and operations were unimpacted.

Edwin G. Leech, 43, of Zelienople, is charged with making terroristic threats causing the evacuation of a building, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and defiant trespassing.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Leech went into Victory Family Church on Route 19 on at around 6 a.m. Wednesday while a prayer meeting was taking place. The complaint states he sat in the back, away from other attendees.

Leech began asking “suspicious questions” about the church, including where the pastors were. He then “began making a scene, questioning the speaker.” Security attempted to escort him out and he refused, becoming angry and yelling about “being the second messiah.”

When confronted by a security officer, Leech allegedly said, “This is how mass shootings happen, I have mental problems,” and sat down.

Leech was arraigned Wednesday morning and placed on $50,000 monetary bond. A Sept. 6 preliminary hearing is scheduled.

This is a breaking news story. Read the full article about the incident in Thursday's Butler Eagle.

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