Sutherland Springs, TX – Two conspiracy theorists were arrested at the scene of the First Baptist Church massacre on Monday, after they repeatedly harassed the pastor and community with claims that the Nov. 5, 2017 murders of 26 people were nothing but a hoax.
Police arrested 54-year-old Robert Ussery, founder of the conspiracy website Side Thorn Journalist, and 56-year-old Jodi Mann, who has an online persona of “Conspiracy Granny,” the San Antonio Express-News reported.
They are being charged with making terrorist threats, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) officials said.
First Baptist Church pastor Frank Pomeroy said that he was sitting in his car outside of the church when he witnessed Ussery and Mann as they approached the building.
Pomeroy said that Mann began writing “The truth shall set you free” on a sign intended for supporters to leave messages, while Ussery began yelling at him and recording the scene with a camera strapped to his chest, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Ussery, whose website has attempted to prove that numerous mass casualty events were staged by actors, began demanding that Pomeroy provide proof that his 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle, had ever existed.
Annabelle was one of the victims slaughtered by 26-year-old Devin Kelley during the brutal church massacre.
“He said, ‘Your daughter never even existed. Show me her birth certificate. Show me anything to say she was here,’” Pomeroy told the San Antonio Express-News. “I just told him there was enough evidence already visible, so if he chooses not to see that, how would I know he would believe anything else?”
The pastor said that Ussery “continually yelled and screamed and hollered and told me he was gonna hang me from a tree, and pee on me while I’m hanging.”
“He kept trying to bait us to do something dumb,” Pomeroy said.
Rod Green, a member of the congregation, alerted the police.
On his website, Ussery listed 33 tragic mass casualty incidents that he claimed were Department of Homeland Security and United Nations drills “using crisis actors that were sold to the public as real.”
The Sutherland Springs church shooting was the third incident on Ussery’s list.
“Before talking to him today, I thought he was trying to play some angle,” Pomeroy told the San Antonio Express-News. “But I think he’s truly demented. I think he truly believes his own rhetoric. I can’t explain it.”
“We’ve already had to deal with one person that lived in an alternate reality,” he said, referring to the gunman who fatally shot 26 church members. “If it takes something happening before you get rid of these guys, then I’m just glad that this ‘something happening’ happened and nobody got hurt.”
“Now let’s just pray it’s done,” the pastor said.