NM Church on High Alert After Former Church Attendee Threatens Mass Shooting

(Photo: Screen shot/KRQE-TV)Calvary Church in Albuquerque, N.M., was on high alert during its service on Jan. 8, 2014, after a former member of the congregation threatened a mass shooting at the church.

A New Mexico church's security was on high alert after a former church attendee made a mass shooting threat on Monday.

The Albuquerque-based Calvary Church held its weekly Wednesday night service, but the church did not take the warning lightly.

"We take it serious, we do a lot of training on active shooters. We do a lot of training to prepare for situations like this," Vince Harrison, Calvary's safety and security coordinator, told KRQE-TV earlier this week.

Harrison also added that the church felt it had to take stronger security precautions after it received an email from former church attender, Brian Jaramillo, at the beginning of the week.

"On Monday, the church received a threat from the same individual," Harrison said. "An email came through saying this individual was going to come to the church and shoot church members, and the children and women in the church."

Harrison also added that Jaramillo had made in-person and email threats to four other church members in December.

Jaramillo's threats come at a time when roughly 20 churches in the area have come together to share information about violent threats with one another. It was through this network that Calvary Church was first informed about the mass shooting threat.

The church is still recovering from a shooting incident that killed five of its members in January 2013. Then, 15-year-old church member, Nehemiah Griego, allegedly shot his father, Greg, 51, a former Calvary pastor; his wife, Sarah, 40; and his three siblings, Zephaniah, 9, Jael, 5 and Angelina, 2.

After the shooting, Harrison said that Griego showed up in the church parking lot inside a van filled with guns.

When he arrived, Harrison confronted the teenager and after he realized something was wrong with Griego, called the police.

"That was close to home for all of us," Harrison said.

Three months later in April, during Sunday mass at the nearby St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church, Lawrence Capener, 24, charged the choir at the conclusion of the service, stabbing four of its members.

According to police, Capenar allegedly believed the four people he stabbed were members of a secret society.

KRQE reported that Jaramillo had received a mental health evaluation earlier this week. Although he has not been charged with a crime, the police department said that they are investigating the situation.

Calvary Church also made headlines in 2006 after its senior pastor, Pete Nelson, resigned from the 14,000-member church. Nelson had suggested in his resignation letter that the church's former pastor, Skip Heitzig, who had maintained his position as chair on Calvary's elder board, was trying to exercise control of the church from behind the scenes.

Calvary Church falls under the Calvary Chapel movement that Chuck Smith began in the 1970s.