A Huntsville man pointed a toy gun at officers before being shot at Wednesday in a Springdale Walmart, according to police. The suspect has never been arrested in Washington or Madison counties, but law enforcement has investigated him before in a case involving letters sent to a local church.
One place where the suspect, Rainbow Rasphoumy, hung out was a church in Goshen, near where he reportedly lived.
The church's pastor believes that for the last six months or so, both his family and church were in danger because of the suspect’s letters to the pastor.
“I had to file a no trespass order and have that delivered to him from Madison County”, said Pastor Steven Thomas .
The pastor said that since December of last year, the suspect would hang around his church, in this same van, watching his New Hope Church-goers and mailing letters. The letters were made out to Thomas, his six kids and wife. Thomas thinks law enforcement should have paid closer attention to Rasphoumy, especially in light of the suspect’s arrest Wednesday.
The Madison County Sheriff said his department knew of Rasphoumy, but that his letters to the church were legal.
“Well, he didn't do anything illegal. There was nothing. He didn't break the law”, said Sheriff Phillip Morgan.
Thomas said he now emphasizes safety at the church.
Morgan said he'll be keeping a close eye out on the suspect, if he bonds out, since the man lives inside his county. Morgan also said that his deputies received one letter from the suspect that seemed to be strange, so they investigated and reached out to the suspect's family to get him some mental help.