Amarillo Police are reporting that Kevin Thomas Winkle was arrested for allegedly bringing firearms into St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral on Sunday.
Officials report that an Amarillo Police officer was told that Winkle was in possession of a firearm inside of the cathedral.
The suspect was found to be in possession of firearms and arrested for Unlawful Carrying a Weapon – Prohibited Place. He was booked into the Potter County Detention Center.
Msgr. Michael Cowell released the following statement on the church’s website –
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
Attached you will see a notice regarding an incident that took place in the narthex of the Church last Sunday during the noon Mass. No one was threatened, no gun was drawn, it was shown to our security man and he was immediately escorted out by a police officer we hired. I want you to know we have all been working tirelessly with the police and other authorities to address this incident. The police do not feel as though he is a continued threat to our church, however, because of the seriousness of this incident, and out of an abundance of prudence and caution, we will have an armed police officer at every Mass. The officer will also be guarding the children as they go to and from faith formation on Sundays. This Wednesday night we will have a police officer present from 6:30 to 9:00. Our staff will be meeting with a safety expert this week to guide us in formulating security protocols. Let us all remain vigilant while we place all our trust in the Lord. Remember the 9-11 adage: If you see something say something!
Msgr. Michael Cowell
The Church also posted a flyer about the incident:
Please be advised that Kevin(sp) Winkle was arrested at St. Mary’s Cathedral during the 12:00 pm Mass Sunday, September 9th. He was arrested for carrying three loaded firearms. We had some indication that he was going to attend one of the Masses last Sunday; therefore, we hired a uniformed police officer to protect us. During the 12:00 pm Mass the police officer observed him showing his weapon on his hip to our security person and immediately intervened escorting him out of the church. Once he was patted down two other guns were found on him with multiple full magazines of ammunition. He was served with a no trespass notice, forbidding him to be anywhere on our campus in the future. He was then arrested for felony possession of a firearm in a Church (safe zone). Today, September 10th, his wife Rene was observed on our campus taking video and photos of our church buildings. The police detained and interrogated her. She was released but, like her husband, she was served with a no trespass notice, forbidding her to return to our campus. Please be vigilant and be on the watch for them and if you see them at your church or school call 911. Please make copies of this for your ushers and or security personnel. Thank you.
Msgr. Michael Colwell
According to a criminal complaint filed today in Potter County, Winkle is also accused of a similar incident at a private school on September 5.
Amarillo ISD said they notified their principals about Winkle at the advice of Amarillo Police.
This is a developing story. Stay with MyHighPlains.com for updates.