Video: Man tries to shoot pastor during prayer, says ‘God told him to do that’, gun gets jammed

Video: Man tries to shoot pastor during prayer, says ‘God told him to do that’, gun gets jammed

A man who tried to shoot a pastor during a service at a Pennsylvania church because “God told him to do it” was thwarted when his gun failed to fire and he was tackled by a congregant, authorities said.

The chaos at Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church in North Braddock occurred Sunday while the service was being broadcast live, state police said in a news release.

Bernard J. Polite, 26, of Braddock entered the church just after 1 p.m. and walked toward the front as the Rev. Glenn Germany gave a sermon, police said. The pastor told WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh that Polite smiled at him and they made eye contact just before Polite pointed the gun at him. Germany then ducked out of the way when a male congregant tackled Polite.

Germany and the municipality then worked together to take the weapon from Polite, who was soon subdued and held until state forces arrived.

Polite said “God told me to do it” and that he planned to shoot Germany and “wait until he was arrested” so he could go to jail and clear his head, according to court documents. He faces numerous charges, including aggravated assault and attempted murder, and was held without bail Monday in the Allegheny County Jail. State police said they did not know if Polite has an attorney, and district court documents did not list one.

The body of a shooting victim was found in a house near the church where Polite had attended shortly before going to church, provincial police said. The county medical examiner’s office identified the body Monday as Derek Polite, 56, of North Braddock, but did not say whether he was related to Bernard Polite.

Politeness was unknown in the church, officials said. According to court documents, he walked to the church after hearing music coming from there.

“I’m grateful that I woke up this morning and that I’m here. It could have gone the opposite way,” Germany told The Associated Press on Monday. “But God intervened and I am grateful to him.”

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  • (This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)

    Shankhyaneel Sarkar

    Shankhyaneel Sarkar is a senior sub-editor at News18. He handles international affairs

    Location: Pennsylvania, USA

    first print: May 7, 2024 11:17 IST