'God told him to do it': Man arrested for pulling gun on pastor in Pa.; body found in suspect's home

Court papers claim the gunman confessed that 'God told him to do it.'

ByLeah Sarnoff ABCNews logo
Monday, May 6, 2024
Body found inside home of man arrested for pulling gun on pastor at church in North Braddock, Pa.
Church service in Pennsylvania came to a terrifying halt on Sunday when authorities say a man allegedly attempted to shoot a pastor during his sermon

NORTH BRADDOCK, Pennsylvania -- A church service in Pennsylvania came to a terrifying halt on Sunday when authorities say a man pulled a gun on the pastor and allegedly attempted to shoot him during his sermon.

Police have also since found a body inside the suspect's home.

The incident happened at Jesus' Dwelling Place Church in North Braddock, Pennsylvania, shortly after 1:00 p.m., according to the Pennsylvania State Police.

The suspected gunman, who police identified as 26-year-old Bernard Junior Polite, entered the church and allegedly attempted to shoot the pastor, Glenn Germany, as he was delivering his sermon on a live stream, according to police.

The suspect's firearm failed to discharge and a congregation member and the pastor were able to subdue and disarm him before anyone was harmed, police said.

"I'm thankful to God that I'm still here because he definitely pulled the trigger," Germany told ABC News affiliate WTAE.

Describing the alarming encounter, Germany told the outlet Polite smiled at him before the attempted attack.

"I started to begin to preach, and all of a sudden, from my left-hand side, I saw him move from the back to the front of the church, and he set up in the front corner of the church and smiled at me," Germany said.

"All of a sudden, I just saw a gun pointing right at me. And at that point, all I could try to do is run for cover," he said.

The pastor went on to praise the congregation member who sprang into action to subdue Polite, saying, "He could have lost his life in that struggle, but he sacrificed himself for everyone, and he's the hero."

The suspect was held at the church until Pennsylvania State Police troopers arrived at the scene and arrested him.

After arresting Polite, police say they discovered a man shot to death inside his home Sunday night. That person has not yet been identified.

As for the church shooting, the Pastor says he had never seen Polite before. Court papers claim Polite confessed that "God told him to do it."

Polite was arraigned Monday morning for attempted homicide. No one has been charged yet for the deadly shooting.

6abc contributed to this post.