Pastor disarms man who pulled out gun during church service

A potential bloodshed was averted at a Sunday afternoon church service when a man wielding a gun was tackled by a pastor and his parishioners.

The Nashville Metropolitan Police Department has confirmed that a dramatic incident took place at the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church.

Dezire Baganda, 26, was sitting outside the church when he pointed to a gun, approaching the altar where the pastor and congregation were praying.

However, the church pastor, named Ezekiel Ndikumana by local media outlet WKRN, was among those who were able to safely disarm the man before shots were fired.

Baganda allegedly ordered everyone to stand while he “waved and pointed the handgun at the congregation”, police said.

They added that the pastor attacked Baganda before shots were fired. Several church members then intervened to help remove the gun from the suspect, pinning Baganda to the ground until cops arrived.

“He wanted to kill, that’s what came to mind,” Ndikumana told WKRN via a translator.

A clip of the incident, seen by WKRN, shows the pastor pretending to exit the building before sneaking up behind the weapon-wielding Baganda and pushing him to the ground.

Dezire Baganda (pictured, R) is charged with 15 counts of aggravated assault after he allegedly fired a gun at a north Nashville church on Sunday

Commenting on the video, Ndikumana said, “I would say God used me because I felt like I was going to use the back door as an example trying to go behind him. And then I got the I felt like I was going to catch him…and that’s what happened.”

Choir member Nzojibugami Noe added, “He stood in front of almost everyone. Nobody was behind him yet, so he could have done anything.”

Although Baganda was not considered a member of the church, he had previously attended services at the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church.

Baganda is to be charged with 15 counts of aggravated assault, while police said “several counts are expected to be added early in the week”.

His bail was set at $375,000.

Newsweek contacted the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church and the Nashville Police Department for updates on this story.

Late last month, it was reported that Court of Appeal judges would not disqualify themselves from hearing Dylann Roof’s appeal against his conviction and death sentence in the 2015 racially motivated shooting in a South Carolina church.

And the New York City Police Commissioner announced this month that he fears the United States Supreme Court is hampering law enforcement’s ability to tackle gun crime in the city.