Pennsylvania Pastor Escapes Shooting Attempt

( – The pastor of a North Bradford, Pennsylvania church was confronted by an armed man during his Sunday sermon in a tense scene captured on the church’s live-stream.

Pennsylvania State Police identified the man as 26-year-old Bernard Polite of Braddock. According to the state police, Polite entered the Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church just after 1:00 p.m. as Pastor Glenn Germany was giving his sermon. Polite pointed his gun at Germany and pulled the trigger but the gun “failed to discharge,” the state police said.

Pastor Germany said in an interview with local news that when he saw the gun, all he could do was “run for cover.”

As the pastor took cover, church deacon Clarence McCallister lunged for Polite, tackling him to the ground.

McCallister told a local outlet that he just did what needed to be done. The pastor described McCallister as a “hero.”

The two were able to subdue Polite until police arrived at the church. As they waited for officers to arrive, Pastor Germany tried to speak with the suspect.

Germany told a local outlet that the man was “dealing with spirits” and came into the church looking to shoot someone. The pastor said Polite apologized to him and he told the man that he forgave him.

Germany said the thing that hurt the most was knowing that his 14-year-old daughter was seated in the pews during the incident. He said while he knew he needed to be strong for her, just seeing her sitting there made it “hard for me to digest.”

The pastor told one outlet that when the gun did not fire, he knew that God was looking out for him.

He said before Polite tried to shoot him, he had walked in and out of the room multiple times and when he finally came in, he smiled before pointing the gun at the pastor.

Germany said he hoped the incident would help his parishioners understand the reality of mental illness.

Polite was arraigned Monday morning on multiple charges, including attempted homicide. He was remanded to Allegheny County Jail without bail and will appear in court for a preliminary hearing next week.

On Sunday evening, Allegheny County Police reported discovering the body of a man shot to death in Polite’s home. So far, no charges have been filed against Polite in connection to the dead man.

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