A Tennessee pastor knew what to do when a man started threatening his congregation with a gun on Sunday.
Pastor Ezekiel Ndikumana of the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church tackled the man before any harm could befall the worshippers.
“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,” Ndikumana said, according to WKRN-TV.
Ndikumana, who is from Burundi, spoke through a translator.
Dezire Baganda, 26, was later arrested and charged with 15 counts of felony aggravated assault.
WATCH — NORTH NASHVILLE — “man walks up to the altar with a gun at Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church, waves it around, points it at congregation… pastor Ezekiel Ndikumana prays, heroically tackles him and he’s disarmed without a shot fired…” https://t.co/4grV1jC0p7 pic.twitter.com/i2TESKE9Cl
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) November 8, 2021
Surveillance video from the incident shows a gunman waving his weapon as he faced those worshipping at the church.
The footage shows Ndikumana moving quickly to tackle the gunman from behind, knocking him down.
Here’s a report from Nashville’s WTVF-TV:
Although some of those in the church began to run away as the incident began, others stayed to help disarm the gunman and keep him held down until police could arrive.
According to WKRN, police said that during the incident, Baganda told everyone in the church to get up.
Whatever else the gunman planned was forestalled by the pastor’s action. Ndikumana said he believed the gunman had a deadly purpose.
“He wanted to kill, that’s what first came to my mind,” Ndikumana told WKRN.
Pastor disarms gunman during church service in Nashville, according to policehttps://t.co/9eAVKUjp5C
— Action News 5 (@WMCActionNews5) November 8, 2021
Choir member Nzojibugami Noe told WKRN that when the incident started, the gunman “was standing in the front of almost everybody. No one was behind him yet, so he could have done anything.”
Ndikumana told WKRN that Baganda was not a member of the church. He had attended in the past and been told to leave because he interrupted during sermons.
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On this occasion, the station reported, Baganda had been at the church service peacefully from 10 a.m. until the incident took place at about 12:45 p.m.
According to WKRN, an arrest affidavit states that Baganda said he was Jesus and that all churches and schools should be targeted for shootings.
“God wanted to show that he’s a powerful God,” Ndikumana said. “One main thing I said, ‘We had faith.’”