ROLLA, Mo. - A man in Rolla was charged with making terroristic threats against Christians and churches just hours after a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagouge.
“We don't want to join that long list of those places that have suffered those horrific tragedies,” said Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney Brendon Fox.
The prosecutor charged 40-year-old Joshua D. Anderson with three counts of making a terrorist threat. At last check, the homeless man was being held in the county jail on a $50,000 bond.
“After the Pittsburgh shooting, he posted on his own Facebook wall applauding shootings,” Fox said.
Court documents indicate Anderson said, "A mass shooting oh goodie goodie…hopefully a bunch of dead Christian youth. And if I were to kill a Christian I'd nail them to a tree."
People who live in the area were stunned.
“I think that's horrible; that's a horrible thing to say,” said Rolla resident Amanda Walls.
Church members at the Rolla Assembly of God shut down their service and called security. Assembly of God Churches in Steeleville and St. James were also mentioned in Anderson's Facebook posts.
“It worries me to see where our country is going. Our country is going in the wrong direction,” said Sam Runge, another resident.
In the probable cause statement, Anderson told police at the time of the threats he was angry with an uncle who was a member of the Rolla church and angry with the church itself.
“If you don't take it seriously if you just assume someone is making a joke, and then the time that somebody isn't, you wind up with dead bodies and people wondering why didn't you take it seriously,” said Fox.
The pastor declined to make a comment. Anderson had been living in a mission and apparently used the facility's computer to make the threats.