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Armed visitor diverted from Bellevue Baptist Church’s last Sunday service

The courtyard of Bellevue Baptist Church is a tranquil oasis with three rustic crosses and fuchsia blossoms on Easter. Security kept the church peaceful when they diverted an armed visitor whose presence raised concerns.

By Carolyn Bahm
The armed man who visited Bellevue Baptist Church on Easter Sunday remained under a mental health evaluation as of Tuesday.

Marcus Donald, 31, entered the church with a loaded .40-caliber Beretta in his pants pocket and a 300 Black Out assault rifle in his backpack. Thanks to alert staff, a security guard and follow-up help from the Memphis Police Department, he was stopped before he could enter the sanctuary.

The security guard at the church apprehended him without incident and took the weapons.

The courtyard of Bellevue Baptist Church is a tranquil oasis with three rustic crosses and fuchsia blossoms on Easter. Security kept the church peaceful when they diverted an armed visitor whose presence raised concerns.

The courtyard of Bellevue Baptist Church is a tranquil oasis with three rustic crosses and fuchsia blossoms on Easter. Security kept the church peaceful when they diverted an armed visitor whose presence raised concerns.

Donald told an MPD officer that “people in society are a threat to me and that I must be vigilant.”

However, he apparently did not voice a threat to the church or its congregation. Donald was arrested for emergency commitment for a mental health evaluation.

Unconfirmed reports note that he had a carry permit and may have not broken any gun laws.

No additional information is available yet, including his city of residence or his motives, and MPD does not have a photo of the suspect.

An MPD spokesman said there is no criminal report on file for the incident.

A spokesman for Bellevue released this statement, “We are thankful for the diligence of our security people and the Memphis Police Department.”