DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (WJBK) - Two Michigan churches and a mosque tightened security this week after police found a mysterious bag in Dearborn Heights that had a gun and maps of all three inside along with a note threatening violence.
Dearborn Heights police stumbled on a toiletry bag with an unloaded gun inside just laying on the grass near a crowded area. Also inside were three maps: One leading to the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids, another showing the route from Dearborn Heights to the Masjid Bilal Mosque in Canton, and a third with directions to the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Dearborn.
Is it a hoax or a vendetta? Either way, investigators didn't take any chances and ticketed security at a Dearborn church, Canton mosque, and Grand Rapids Church.
The Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids was closed on Monday. They released a statement on Tuesday saying "the Grand Rapids Police Department informed us that Westminster was listed as a primary 'target' alongside other faith communities within a suspicious package discovered in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. We did not open our building yesterday (including Westminster Child Development Center) until we could learn more about the nature and severity of the threat. At this point in the open investigation, local and federal authorities have told us that Westminster does not appear to be in ongoing danger."
The FBI is also helping with the investigation and officials aren't ruling anything out.
Police were outside the mosque in Canton to make sure everything was safe for worshipers. FOX 2 learned that attendance was down due to the fears and a representative for the mosque hopes that changes soon.
"Is this is something someone wants to dedicate time and energy to make into a hoax or could this be a real threat? The difficulty is you can't tell. You can tell yourself it's a mere threat and then it can turn out to be a real threat," Khalid Hahloon said.
If it's someone framing someone else because of a vendetta, that's also a crime.