WEST ALTON, MO – Their sign may say join us for Sunday service, but back in November they had to cancel church and lock their doors after someone threatened to come in with a gun and shoot people.
A threat against a West Alton Church is being considered a terrorist threat, something neighbors say they never expected in their own community.
"I was shocked because it doesn't happen around here. It's pretty quiet."
According to a probable cause statement from the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney's Office on November 19th Frank Niemeyer Jr. called the pastor and asked that another parishioner return a piece of his property. When the pastor told Niemeyer that person didn't have it, that's when Niemeyer reportedly became irate and started yelling. Saying he'd come to the 10:30 church service with a shotgun and quote, "Put a hole in Mike" and that The St. Charles County Police wouldn't do anything about it because they don't care about the residents of West Alton.
The pastor canceled services that day as a precaution.
The documents say when police spoke with Niemeyer he admitted to making the threat but said he wasn't going to follow through with it. But the officer said, "the threats that he made were of a very serious nature in light of what's going on in the world today and he put many people's lives in jeopardy that day."
At the time this was just two weeks after 26 people were killed at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
But some people that know Niemeyer aren't taking this threat so seriously.
"No, I know him so no, you've got to take the source at hand."
A judge granted someone a restraining order against Niemeyer right after this incident that forbids him being within 500 feet of that person or going to their work among other things.