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American tries to shoot pastor, but gun doesn’t fire

  • May 7, 2024
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A man who attempted to shoot a pastor during a service at a Pennsylvania church because “God told him to” was foiled when his gun failed to fire and he was accosted by a worshiper, authorities said.

The chaos at Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church in North Braddock occurred Sunday while the service was being livestreamed, state police said in a news release.

Bernard J. Polite, 26, of Braddock, entered the church shortly after 1 p.m. and walked toward the front while the Rev. Glenn Germany was delivering a sermon, police said.

The pastor told WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh that Polite smiled at him and they made eye contact just before Polite pointed the gun at him.

Germany then moved out of the way as a male worshiper attacked Polite.

Germany and the faithful then worked together to wrest the gun from Polite, who was quickly subdued and detained until state troopers arrived.

Polite said that “God told me to do it” and that he planned to shoot Germany and “wait to be arrested” so he could go to jail and clear his mind, according to court documents.

He faces numerous charges, including aggravated assault and attempted homicide, and was being held without bail Monday at the Allegheny County Jail. State police said they did not know if Polite had an attorney, and county court records did not list one.

The body of a gunshot victim was found in a home near the church where Polite was located shortly before he went to the church, county police said.

The county medical examiner’s office on Monday identified the body as that of Derek Polite, 56, of North Braddock, but did not say whether he was related to Bernard Polite.

Polite was not known at the church, officials said. He went to the church after hearing music coming from there, according to court documents.

“I’m grateful to have woken up this morning and be here. It could have gone the opposite direction,” Germany told The Associated Press on Monday. “But God intervened and I’m grateful.”

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Allwitch Joly