9 Royal Oak churches receive bomb threats, 33-year-old resident arrested

Posted at 8:18 PM, Oct 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-06 16:46:19-04

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — Adam Robert Laird, 33, of Royal Oak, has been arrested in connection with bomb threats at nine Royal Oak churches.

The churches have been identified as:

  • First Congregational Church 1314 Northwood
  • St. Mary’s Catholic Church 730 S. Lafayette
  • Calvary Christian Church 2203 E. Eleven Mile
  • Unity of Royal Oak 2500 Crooks
  • Central Oaks Church 2005 Rochester
  • Royal Oak First Methodist Church 320 W. Seventh
  • Woodside Bible Church 3620 Rochester
  • Starr Presbyterian Church 1717 W. Thirteen Mile
  • St. John Episcopal Church 26998 Woodward

Police say the churches began receiving the threats between 12:28 p.m. and 2:53 p.m. on Friday.

The threats were sent to the churches in emails that were then reported to police.

Laird is charged with eight counts of false report or threat of terrorism, and one count of telecommunications services-malicious use.

In a statement sent to 7 Action News, Holly Fournier with the Archdiocese of Detroit said "The safety of all the faithful is of the utmost importance to us, and we are relieved there appeared to be no immediate danger to the St. Mary Parish and School communities. Even so, we are grateful for the quick actions of parish leadership and law enforcement in response to this concerning event. We join St. Mary Parish in turning to God and praying for the continued safety of our communities, for police and first responders, and for all those affected by this incident.

7 Action News also acquired a letter sent to families from St. Mary Parish School principal Gabriela Bala, which states "The Royal Oak Police were immediately notified and quickly came to meet with (Father) Paul. We have cooperated fully with their investigation and instructions.

"The Royal Oak Police did not feel that there was any immediate danger to St. Mary students, families, or church or school employees."

The investigation is ongoing.