Hero Pastor Tackles, Disarms Gunman

Suspect waved firearm at Nashville congregation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2021 6:00 PM CST

(Newser) – A pastor in Nashville, Tennessee, says he was acting as God's instrument when he tackled and disarmed a man who had been waving a gun at his congregation. Police say the heroic actions of pastor Ezekiel Ndikumana and other members of the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church "saved a church from further violence" on Sunday afternoon. Video from the church shows a suspect identified as Dezire Baganda pull out a gun and walk to the altar, NBC reports.

Police say Baganda waved the gun at the congregation and ordered everybody up. The video shows Ndikumana pretending to head for an exit before turning around and tackling the man from behind. Other members of the congregation helped get the gun away from the suspect and hold him down until police arrived The 26-year-old was charged with 15 counts of felony aggravated assault, and police say more charges are expected. Ndikumana says the man was not a member of the church, but he had attended services before.

"He wanted to kill, that’s what first came to my mind," Ndikumana tells WKRN. "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. And then I felt the feeling that I would go and grab him … and that’s what happened," the pastor says. According to an arrest affidavit, Baganda told police he was Jesus—and said he needed to open fire at schools and more churches. (Read more Nashville stories.)

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