Pastor accused of threatening to shoot members of former congregation

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79 year old Paul Michaelson, a part time outreach and visitation pastor for Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in San Mateo was arrested last Thursday at his home on suspicion of terrorist threats and violation of civil rights by threat of force.

 

According to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, Michaelson penned four letter to the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in San Carlos between January 7th and 16th outlining his plans to shoot members of the congregation.

 

Investigators revealed that Michaelson had been a formver member of Holy Trinity Lutheran and that he had "felt wronged" after seeking help of some kind from the church and receiving it.

 

San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Detective Rosemerry Blankswade stated that there was no evidence at this time that the threats stemmed from any documented mental illness.

 

Holy Trinity provided investigators with security camera footage from the time when the letters were left which led to Michaelson being identified.  According to the letters the intended attack would have taken place this last Sunday.

 

Officers arrived at his residence on the 16th and executed a search warrant.  No firearms were found in his home or possessions.  The Sheriff's Office issued a gun protection order to bar him from purchasing any firearms through the Department of Justice in the future.

 

By Friday morning Michaelson was out on bond.  He has a hearing scheduled for 9 am February 6th concerning the firearms restraining order.

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