A Punta Gorda man was sentenced on Friday to 24 months in prison for threatening to conduct a mass shooting in Memphis, Tennessee in August 2019.
According to court documents, Thomas Matthew McVicker, 39, of Punta Gorda, sent an acquaintance who lived in Baldwin County, Alabama, a series of text messages about carrying out a mass shooting in August 2019.
Authorities say McVicker wrote messages saying, “I was thinking about shooting a church up, but I’m afraid how it will affect my family in the flesh after I’m gone. So I think I’m just gonna kill some people on the street and get away with it, then kill myself.”
Court documents say three days later, McVicker called that same person and told her that he was going to “shoot up” a church when he was in Memphis on August 22. F
BI agents were able to confirm with McVicker’s employer that he was scheduled to be in Memphis on August 22.
McVicker was arrested, and authorities found him in possession of a Ruger 9mm semi-automatic handgun, five 9mm magazines, one magazine assist loader, and two full boxes of fifty rounds of 9mm ammunition.
During a police interview, McVicker admitted to making the threats but denied his intent to follow through. McVicker admitted to authorities that he has a history of mental health issues.