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Elevation Church employee charged with having gun at event

Concord Police said Monday they are investigating an incident in which an Elevation Church employee brought a gun to a church event being held at a local high school Saturday evening.

Garrett Daniel Wyrick, 24, of Mint Hill, was arrested Sunday after two Concord police officers found a handgun in his backpack, police said. He was charged with carrying a weapon onto a campus or educational property, a felony. It was not immediately clear if the gun was loaded.

Police say they were checking for weapons at the event because someone had made a death threat against the church’s pastor, Steven Furtick. The threat came from “an unknown person,” according to the police report.

“The church received a threatening call from an individual that seemed unstable. In an effort to not mistakenly dismiss the call as a prank, we took it seriously and increased security awareness,” Elevation Church said in a statement.

According to police, the incident took place during an Elevation Church-Concord event at Jay M. Robinson High School, which is among the satellite locations of the fast-growing church.

“In a completely unrelated incident (to the threatening call), an employee in good standing with a concealed carry permit forgot that his firearm was in the backpack he brought with him to a Saturday Volunteer event which was held in a high school,” the church said in its statement. “We are fully satisfied that there is no connection between the incident at JM Robinson High School and any threatening call received.”

According to a professional occupations online listing, Wyrick is an information technology intern with Elevation Church, based in Matthews.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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