A Tennessee pastor is being hailed a hero after he tackled an armed gunman at his church's altar on Sunday.
What are the details?
Surveillance video captured the moment 26-year-old Dezire Baganda sat in front of the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church on Sunday when he purportedly took out a gun and headed to the church's altar where Pastor Ezekiel Ndikumana, identified by WKRN-TV, was praying.
Video showed Baganda approaching the altar and waving around the gun while gesturing with it at worshippers during an altar call.
The pastor deftly tackled Baganda and with the help of several other parishioners was able to disarm the suspect.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police Department said that the pastor and congregants' “heroic actions” saved a church from “further violence.”
Authorities arrested Baganda without incident and charged him with 15 counts of felony aggravated assault.
More charges are forthcoming, according to ABC News.
Later Sunday, Ndikumana told the station that he believed Baganda had one aim: to kill.
“He wanted to kill; that's what first came to my mind,” Ndikumana said. “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 them. And then I felt the feeling that I would go and grab him. … And that's what happened.”
Choir member Nzojibugami Noe added, “He was standing in the front of almost everybody. No one was behind him yet, so he could have done anything.”
According to the station, Baganda was not a member of the church, but had attended services in the past.
Church leaders in February reportedly asked Baganda not to return to the church after he was said to interrupt pastors during sermons.
Witnesses said that as police were taking Baganda into custody, he ranted about how all churches and schools needed to be “shot up.”
“God wanted to show that he's a powerful god,” Ndikumana added. “One main thing I said, we had faith.”
What else is there to know?
USA Today reported that as of Monday, Baganda remained jailed in Davidson County on a $375,000 bond.
Baganda is set to appear before a judge Wednesday.
Noe added that Ndikumana, a Burundi immigrant who has led the church since 2009, likely saved many lives with his heroism.
“It happened real fast,” Noe recalled. “He snuck right behind me as soon as he got up and snagged to the left pretending to go out, then quickly quickly got on him. … It was very amazing.”
Pastor tackles gunman
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