People hurt as mad evangelist causes panic in a US cinema
Michael Ray Webber, inset, a preacher with an outfit called Truth and Triumph Ministries, was arrested after he caused a stampede at a California cinema complex.
At the end of a screening of the latest Avengers movie – Avengers: Infinity War – Webber, according to this report, stood up and started yelling, causing panic among members of the audience.
Susie Arias told CBS2 News:
I think when he said, ‘If you were to die tonight, would your passage to heaven be guaranteed?’ — something along those lines — I think that’s when people started panicking.
Arias said she and her partner were able to walk out, but they said people behind them started running and pushing in an effort to exit quickly.
That’s when the kind of chaos happened in the little exit, where people were jumping over the railings, and kind of falling over, twisting their ankles and hitting their head.
In footage taken immediately after the incident, a man can be seen limping out of the theater. Police said a woman hit her head and had to be hospitalised.
The 28-year-old lunatic told CBS2 via phone that he’s preached at the theatre before with no problems.
Last night was an anomaly. The lights did not turn up for quite a few minutes, and so I really couldn’t see anyone’s reaction except those of the people just right around me.
He added he didn’t know the people in the theater couldn’t see he had his hands up, showing he did not have a weapon.
It’s extremely unfortunate that anyone sustained injuries because of this. Again, I was unarmed.
Arias believes that people panicked because of past terrorist attacks such as the shooting at a theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012. She said she hopes that Webber realises the fear he caused in others.
If you’re gonna try to draw people towards the Bible, that’s not the way to do it, and he needs to stop.
Webber has been charged with a misdemeanor. He told CBS2 this will not deter his evangelising, but he might reconsider his locations.