Virginia police say that a man who was arrested at a church with a gun and a knife was plotting a violent attack after being upset that prayer didn’t work and he couldn’t find a romantic relationship.
35-year-old Rui Jiang of Falls Church was arrested in September at the Park Valley Church in Haymarket after police received a tip about his alleged plot against the church.
The tip was made by a woman who had met Jiang from a dating app and went out on a date with him in 2023 but stopped seeing him. She became alarmed after seeing his posts on social media that appeared to express hostility toward the church and Christianity. One allegedly read, “Blood will be on your hands.”
Police questioned her, and when they went to the church, they found that their security had already spotted him and was escorting him from the building. They said that he was tapping on glass and doing other things that made it look like he was “casing” the church.
Police disarmed him of the handgun and ammunition and arrested him at that time.
On Tuesday, local law enforcement said they were dropping charges against Jiang in order that federal charges could be pursued instead.
A 33-page affidavit outlined the case against Jiang, who has denied planning to attack the church. He told police that he had a concealed carry permit and was often armed.
Police said Jiang had been a member of the church but that he had grown disgruntled after participating in a tithing challenge where he donated $450 to the church. He emailed the church demanding a refund two days before his arrest and received it.
When police searched his home, they found numerous copies of a one-page note where he claimed to have been a government assassin and apologized to “the families of those men about to be slain.”
He detailed further his anger against the church in the letter.
“Despite my continued sacrifices in the name of duty, my quiet donations to churches, God’s community,” he allegedly wrote, “praying on my knees every morning at 5am for an hour, thanking God in Jesus’ name, despite my faith even in my worst of days, nothing has changed, my mental health continues to deteriorate. I am not allowed to be in love. To experience love. To experience a romantic relationship.”
The letter went on to say that he was targeting men in romantic relationships.
“I want them to know what it’s like to be me — to labor through yearning for that romantic love and never obtaining it,” he allegedly wrote.
Police called it a “kill manifesto.”
Here’s more about the allegations: