OCALA, Fla. (WJAX) -- The Marion County Sheriff's Office said a man drove his van through the front doors of the Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, poured gas in the foyer, lit the gas on fire, then fled as parishioners were congregating inside.
Deputies said Shields confessed to the crime. They say he told them he had a problem with the Catholic church and that he was on a mission. He laughed and called himself a “king” as he described his actions as “awesome,” deputies said. Shields told them he has schizophrenia and that he was not taking his medication.
Parishioners were able to escape the church and no one was hurt. The fire was put out quickly by Marion County firefighters.