Two conspiracy theorists who say the Texas church shooting in Sutherland Springs last November was a hoax were arrested on Monday for defacing the church's property.
The two "truthers," both in their mid-50s, run a conspiracy website called Side Thorn, where they contest that the Nov. 5 shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs never actually happened. Instead, they say the media and the government colluded to cause a panic and strip gun rights in the United States.
This isn't the first time they've accosted church-goers. Their website includes many videos of the church, as well as memorials in Sutherland Springs and other places. They come into the area often to question victims on the specifics of those traumatic events and try to poke holes in their narratives.
Pastor Frank Pomeroy told Express News that he was in his car, abut to enter the church when he saw 54-year-old Robert Ussery and 56-year-old Jodi Mann approaching the entrance ahead of him. Mann defaced a poster left in memory of the 26 victims of last year's shooting, writing "The truth shall set you free" in large, loopy letters across it.
Pomeroy told reporters that that's when he finally intervened. He said that Ussery verbally assaulted him, “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 said.
Ussery believed that Pomeroy was complicit in the deception. He said that the 14-year-old daughter Pomeroy lost in the tragedy was also a fiction.
“He said, ‘Your daughter never even existed. Show me her birth certificate. Show me anything to say she was here,’” Pomeroy said. “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?”
This isn't the only tragedy that Ussery and Mann believe is a conspiracy. They've made several videos attacking David Hogg and the other student survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting last month. They also claim that the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012 and the bombing at the Boston Marathon were both false flag attacks by the government on its own people.
Pomeroy said he did his best to deescalate the pair of them, but shortly began to hope they'd hang around long enough for deputies to arrive, so they could no longer harass members of the community.
“We’ve already had to deal with one person that lived in an alternate reality,” Pomeroy said, referring to Devin Kelley, the 26-year-old gunman who, after killing the people in the church, killed himself.
“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,” Pomeroy said. “Now let’s just pray it’s done.”