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Woman waving handgun, carrying baby, threatens to blow up church during Easter service, police say

Lyndsay Winkley, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in News & Features

"It sounds like there might be some mental illness issues that we're looking into," Sharp told OnScene TV.

The woman's 10-month-old baby was taken into protective custody, the lieutenant said. Police also located a second child, a 5-year-old daughter, healthy and unharmed, police said. Both were taken to the Polinsky Children's Center, a 24-hour facility that houses children who must be separated from their family.

According to a personal blog and social media profiles, Conkey was a Navy veteran who studied English and journalism at San Diego State University. She had worked as a digital media producer for NBC7 San Diego, as a news production assistant at KPBS, and had commentaries published in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Conkey often shared her perspective in a personal blog and YouTube channel.

Although her blog appeared to begin as a space to share information about a poetry project inspired by reporting she had done on sex trafficking in San Diego, it quickly grew decidedly religious, and began referencing her detailed dreams and visions.

Church Tsidkenu was first mentioned in a November 2018 post about deliverance ministry, which is the act of cleansing a person of demons.

Videos posted to her YouTube channel were also overtly religious. In some, she claimed to be a prophet. The second to last video appears to reference a disagreement she had at her church. She said she was expecting to speak, but when she suggested she knew more than church leaders, she was asked to leave.


Conkey posted her last video hours before showing up at the church on Sunday. In it, she claims that Jesus and Satan are one and that she was sent to reveal the truth to the masses.

"If God decides to blow your minds by appearing as someone very unexpected and doing very unexpected things and saying crazy, crazy stuff, maybe you should listen," she said.

The threat occurred hours after explosions hit Sri Lankan churches and hotels on Easter Sunday in a coordinated attack that killed hundreds of people. On Saturday night, San Diego police Chief Dave Nisleit said on Twitter that extra officers would be patrolling houses of worship as a precaution.

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