• Who is Thomas McVicker: Man accused of plotting mass shooting at Memphis church

    By: Kody Leibowitz

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - FOX13 is learning more about the truck driver who federal investigators say wanted to "shoot up" a church this week in Memphis. 

    Thomas Matthew McVicker, 38, was arrested in Indianapolis on Monday. 

    RELATED: Crucial tip helps prevent potential mass shooting at Memphis church, former FBI agent says

    McVicker, who has minimal ties to Memphis, faces allegations of wanting to shoot up a church in Memphis on Thursday. 

    However, his past is now becoming clearer. 

    The United States Navy confirmed to FOX13 on Wednesday that McVicker enlisted with the military branch in June 1999. 


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    During his time, he earned the rank of "hospitalman" where he was stationed as a student at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill. for two months. 

    He later became a student at the Navy Medicine Training Support Center in Fort Sam Houston, which is in San Antonio. 

    In 2000, he transferred to a naval hospital on the Marine Corps Base Camp in Camp Pendleton, Calif. before he moved to Field Medical Training Battalion West on the same base. 

    After three months in California, McVicker was a student station in Portsmouth, Va. At the end of 2000 until May 2002, he was stationed at a naval hospital in Charleston, S.C. 

    McVicker was never stationed in the Mid-South.

    He separated from the military in May 2002, according to the U.S. Navy. It is unclear at this time why he left and his standing with the Navy. 

    RELATED: FBI: Man haunted by 'spiritual snakes and spiders' threatened mass shooting at Memphis church

    McVicker, who is from Charlotte County, Fla., has minimal ties to Memphis with the exception of a friend who lives in the Mid-South. 

    FOX13 messaged one of his long-time friends on Wednesday, who called McVicker the "most giving, loyal and true friend in the world."

    The two purportedly have known each other for two decades. His friend wasn't available on Wednesday to talk on camera with FOX13.

    That friend said McVicker is severely schizophrenic and has hallucinations. Public records also show that McVicker suffers from schizophrenia. 

    The 38-year-old reportedly told a friend that people "put spiritual snakes and spiders" in his bed at night, according to the federal complaint filed last week before McVicker's arrest.

    His mother told the FBI, according to the complaint, that McVicker owned a Ruger P90 handgun and sometimes uses cocaine and methamphetamine. 

    FBI officials said McVicker is a truck driver who planned to take time off work to come to Memphis. 

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