SILVER SPRING, Md. (WUSA9) — A Mississippi man armed with a gun committed suicide inside a Silver Spring church on July 19th.
Sources tell WUSA9 Brandon Troy Barron, a man with a psychiatric history, fled his group home in Mississippi and came to Maryland with a weapon and an intended target. The church was between its two Sunday morning services, but there were still several hundred people in the building.
Barron drew no attention to himself when he walked into Immanuel’s Church on a Sunday morning 10 days ago. He asked for one of the deacons, a respected, longtime church member and a retired attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. But the attorney wasn’t there. So Barron walked into the men’s room next to the sanctuary, put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
“It’s a miracle nothing else happened. As a church, we are horrified and sorry that anyone was so distraught that he would take his own life. It’s tragic,” said Church pastor Guy Carey.
Sources say the 32-year-old Barron had once been in a relationship with the daughter of his intended target. And court records reveal that Barron was arrested in 2007 for making threats against that same Maryland man.
On July 16th, the U.S. Marshals in Mississippi received a call that Barron had fled his group home. That office alerted authorities in our area who contacted the intended target. Had it been any other Sunday, he would have been at church.
Federal authorities are still investigating where Barron purchased his gun and how he was able to get it, based on his psychiatric history.
Immanuel’s Church has a congregation of four thousand members. Church officials are reviewing security, but want the house of worship to remain open and accessible.