By Brandon Curtis
A Tennessee pastor was captured on camera tackling a man who had pulled a gun and pointed it at churchgoers. The incident happened during a Nashville church service yesterday.
The man, identified as 26-year-old Dezire Baganda, was sitting in the front row at Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church that afternoon when he pulled out a gun and went up to the altar as the pastor was praying with members of the church, according to a news release from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
Baganda pointed the gun at the congregants and told them to get up, according to police. The pastor had other ideas, though, and snuck around behind the man and tackled him, forcing him to the ground.
“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,” Pastor Ezekiel Ndikumana told WKRN. “And then I felt the feeling that I would go and grab him… and that’s what happened.”
The incident was captured by the church’s security camera . . .
Baganda was ultimately disarmed with the help of multiple churchgoers and taken into custody. He is being charged with 15 counts of felony aggravated assault, with additional charges expected.
The pastor said that Baganda had been to their services before, but was not a member of the church. No other information was immediately available.
I reached out to attorney Phil Nelsen, an expert in firearm law and founder of Legal Heat, to ask about the whether carrying in a church in Tennessee is legal. He responded quickly, as always . . . “Yes, unless it’s posted or unless the church is being used for educational (school) purposes.”
We can’t say for sure if signs were posted at this particular location, or if any members of the church carry firearms, but the pastor’s actions did indeed save the day. The move by the pastor was risky, however, and luckily things turned out in favor of the good guys.
It’s not clear what Baganda had in mind. It could have been an attempted armed robbery, an attempted mass shooting, or something altogether different. The lesson here, as always, is you are your own first responder.
This post was originally published at Concealed Nation and is reprinted here with permission.