The Charlotte Observer
A Tennessee pastor tackled and disarmed a gun-wielding man during a church service on Nov. 7, police said.
The man, identified as 26-year-old Dezire Baganda, was sitting in the front row at Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church that afternoon when he pulled out a gun and went up to the altar as the pastor was praying with members of the church, according to a news release from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
Baganda then pointed the gun at the congregation and told them all to get up, police said.
But the pastor “quickly tackled Baganda before any shots were fired,” police said.
“Several church members jumped in to assist in disarming Baganda and holding him to the ground until officers arrived on scene,” police said.
Pastor Ezekiel Ndikumana told local outlet WKRN that his first thought was that Baganda “wanted to kill.”
A video shared by WKRN shows the incident. In the video, Ndikumana pretends to exit the church before sneaking behind Baganda and tackling him, WKRN reports.
“I would say that God used me because I felt like I was going to use the back door as an example as going on by trying to go behind him,” Ndikumana told WKRN. “And then I felt the feeling that I would go and grab him… and that’s what happened.”
The pastor told officers that Baganda had attended services before but was not a member of the church, police said.
Police said Baganda is charged with 15 counts of felony aggravated assault, with multiple counts “expected to be added at the first of the week.”
No other information about the incident was released as of the morning of Nov. 8.