A Nashville, Tennessee, pastor is being recognized as a hero this week.
When 26-year-old Dezire Baganda allegedly walked up to the Light Pentecostal Church altar with a gun on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, he told everyone to stand up, according to metro Nashville police. The church’s pastor, Ezekiel Ndikumana, snuck behind Baganda and quickly tackled and disarmed the gunman.
Ndikumana told police while Baganda wasn’t a member of the church, but he has attended services before.
“I would say that God used me because I felt like I was going to use that back door as an example of going out by trying to use the back door behind him,” Ndikumana told WATE, through a translator. “Then, I felt a feeling that I would go and grab him, and that’s what happened.”
On Nov. 7, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department announced on its official website that Baganda has been charged with 15 counts of felony aggravated assault. More counts are expected to be added.
According to a 2020 Lifeway Research report, there have been 19 fatal shootings in American churches since the Columbine school shooting in 1999.