Maine officer foils gunman 'prepared to kill people'

PORTLAND, Maine — A man who says he was prepared to kill at least two people attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in a church basement Monday morning was arrested by a Portland High School resource officer as he loaded a high-powered rifle outside the church.

Officer Stephen Black said he was locking the rear school doors, as he does every day at 8 a.m., when he saw Herbert Jones, 46, holding a rifle in a small paved area behind the school known as Freshman Alley. He said he then saw Jones, whose back was to him, loading rounds into the gun.

Black drew his sidearm and ordered Jones to put down the gun, a 7 mm Remington. Jones complied immediately, Black said.

Jones seemed confused and said he was loading the rifle because he believed there were pedophiles at the morning AA meeting held in the basement of First Parish Unitarian Church, which abuts Freshman Alley.

''That was when I thought to myself, 'Oh, man, this guy is here to kill people,' '' Black said.

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