Man accused of bringing guns to St. Mary's arrested again

Kevin Thomas Winkle was arrested after a warrant was issued for exhibiting firearms on a campus or school bus. (Courtesy: Potter County Sheriff's Office)

A man that was accused of bringing guns and ammunition in St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral on Sunday was arrested again on Wednesday.

According to Potter County court documents, Kevin Thomas Winkle, 52, was arrested after a warrant was issued for exhibiting firearms on a campus or school bus. This stemmed from an incident at St. Mary's Academy on Sept. 5. He was arrested in the 8100 block of Progress and arrested on the warrant.

Winkle's first arrest on Sunday came after an off-duty Amarillo Police Department officer working security at the church was alerted to a male who was acting suspiciously and making comments to a pastor about the ability to bring firearms into the church. He left the church before the officer was able to contact him in person but was able to reach him over the phone.

After identifying Winkle, the officer confirmed the conversation had taken place between him and the pastor. Winkle went on to inform the officer that he was on the way to St. Mary's Academy Property to work as an usher.

Due to the statements made during their conversation, the officer reached out to St. Mary's staff to alert them of Winkle's presence on their property.

The staff at St. Mary's had been made aware of Winkle from an incident on Sept. 5, in which he showed up that evening for a training to potentially become an usher for the church. During the training, Winkle made several alarming comments and displayed a rifle that he was carrying in a violin case, as well as three handguns, which led church leaders to fear for the safety of their staff.

Before the Sunday service, St. Mary's hired an off-duty APD officer to work security, due to concern caused by Winkle. The officer was made aware of the incident involving Winkle and was alerted to his presence by the officer who had spoken with him on the phone.

The off-duty officer saw Winkle and found that he did have a firearm in a holster on his waist. The officer also located two other firearms and several magazines of ammunition in Winkle's pockets. The 1200 block of S. Washington Street is cohabited by St. Mary's Church and St. Mary's Academy, so Winkle was charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon in prohibited places.

During an inventory of Winkle's vehicle, prior to removing it from the property, two rifles with multiple rounds of ammunition were found. The rifles were stored in two separate violin cases.

Federal agencies assisted APD with a search warrant at Winkle's home on Thursday. No details were provided on if anything was found at the residence.

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