Gunman moved by ‘spirits’ caught on camera trying to shoot pastor, who is miraculously unharmed

Moved by “spirits,” a suspect was filmed mid-service at a church aiming a gun at the pastor before “he definitely pulled the trigger.”

(Video: WTAE)

Near Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman’s (D) former mayoral stomping grounds, the broadcast of North Braddock’s Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church gave witness to what Pastor Glenn Germany suggested was an act of God. Seen during Sunday’s livestream, a man later identified as 26-year-old Bernard Polite with a deceased relative in his home, approached the pastor, aimed and allegedly fired.

“I’m thankful to God that I’m still here because he definitely pulled the trigger,” Germany told WTAE after the incident.

In the video, the pastor abruptly stopped his sermon when he recognized the threat, throwing up his hands and seeking cover behind the lectern. While the suspect stepped over the rail to pursue the faith leader, the cameraman and church deacon, Clarence McCallister had rushed into action to tackle him.

“I’m just grateful that God seen it that nobody got hurt, especially when the guy had the gun pointed directly at his head,” McCallister told the outlet.

While the deacon held fast to the suspect, the pastor, whose 14-year-old daughter was in attendance, could be seen recovering from the initial shock before wrestling to disarm the alleged shooter.

“I started to begin to preach, and all of a sudden, from my left-hand side, I saw him move from the back to the front of the church, and he set up in the front corner of the church and smiled at me,” recounted Germany. “All of a sudden, I just saw a gun pointing right at me. And at that point, all I could try to do is run for cover.”

“This guy was just dealing with spirits, he said, and he came in and wanted to shoot somebody. He said, ‘You ducked a taco today.’ That’s what he told me and I guess that’s slang for ‘You ducked a bullet,'” the pastor added.

A statement from the Pennsylvania State Police detailed the events seen in the video and explained that church members had held the suspect until law enforcement arrived, arrested him and filed charges that court documents specified as attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person.

Amid the investigation of Polite, the body of a 56-year-old man was discovered in the nearby home where the suspect resided. The decedent, a victim of a gunshot wound, was identified as Derek Polite, believed to be an uncle of the suspect, and confirmed by Allegheny County Police spokesperson Jim Madalinsky as a relative in an email to CNN.

“County Police can confirm Bernard Polite, a suspect in a previous incident Sunday morning at a North Braddock church, is known to live at the residence where the shooting occurred and is a relative of the shooting victim,” the email stated. “At this point, no charges have been filed in connection with the homicide and it remains an active investigation.”

As for the church incident, Polite was arraigned Monday, denied bail and had a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 13.

In a separate interview with NBC’s “Today,” Germany made clear, “He actually apologized to me. I told him, ‘I forgive you and want you to know I love you.'”

Kevin Haggerty

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