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Man who brought gun to Fayetteville church jailed

Posted January 7

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— The man who entered a Fayetteville church on New Year’s Eve with a gun and returned days later to apologize is now behind bars.

The man, who has been identified at Gregory Boone, 32, admitted to being a convicted felon and said he had brought the gun to Heal the Land Outreach Ministries during a New Year’s Eve service because he thought it would be a safe place to surrender the weapon without getting into trouble.

Fayetteville police had originally withheld Boone’s identity, saying they did not arrest or charge him on New Year’s Eve because of his mental state at the time.

"He asked for help and our key concern for him was his health and well-being and his mental well-being," said Lt. David McLaurin with the Fayetteville Police Department. "He agreed to go to the hospital for a voluntary comittment and that's what we took him for."

Boone has since been arrested by the State Probation Division on a probation violation. He was out on parole after being charged in 2012 with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

"He wanted to get rid of the gun, is what he told me," said Bishop Larry Wright. "He did the right thing but he did it the wrong way."

Wright, the Fayetteville city councilman and pastor who got the weapon out of Boone’s hands and prayed with him, visited the man in jail Wednesday. He said he hasn’t given up on helping Boone turn his life around.

“I didn't look at him for his past mistakes. I didn't look at him for even what he had done that night. I looked at him as a man that made a decision to turn his life around," said Wright. “I prayed for him. We had a short prayer. When I left, he was pepped up and he was OK.”

Wright said Boone is a veteran who suffers from PTSD and had been off his medication for three months. Wright said Boone has resumed taking his medication and is hopefully on the path to getting his life back on track.

"I want this man to be a success story and I know that he can be."

Wright said the church still has plans to baptize Boone when he is released from jail.

Fayetteville police said the investigation is still ongoing and charges from New Year's Eve could still be filed.


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  • William Campbell Jan 8, 2016
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    Their publicity stunt backfired because of people demanding answers.

  • willis2 Jan 8, 2016

    Where did he get the gun?

  • Dale Xavier Jan 8, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    The man is a CONVICTED FELON!!!!!! I don't care how sorry he is, he is NOT allowed to own a gun, PERIOD! Much less drag one around with him.

  • Kim Schrock Jan 7, 2016
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    Pastors in the county got together with Law Enforcement and started this program back on 22 Nov 14. Now when you come in they arrest you? Steve Devane wrote the first article on this, why the change of venue.

  • Angel Bousquet Jan 7, 2016
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    WOW! No good deed goes unpunished. SMH!

  • Montel Burnette Jan 7, 2016
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    Try to do the right thing and still get punished. Smh

  • Brian Walker Jan 7, 2016
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    Give the man a break. Stupid Just-Is system. Sounds like someone just wanted 1 more arrest on there resume . I would love to here an explanation as to why his mental state, off his med's, didn't require him being arrested on New Years and how much did his mental state change in a couple of days. Doesn't sound like it was for the worst if he came back and apologized.