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Video: TN pastor tackles gunman who stormed altar during service

Dezire Baganda (Metropolitan Nashville Police Department/Released)
November 09, 2021

A pastor in Tennessee tackled an armed gunman who stormed the altar during a church service earlier this week, stunning video of the moment shows.

On November 7, Dezire Baganda, 26, was sitting near the front of Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church when he walked up to the altar waving around a firearm as Pastor Ezekiel Ndikumana was praying with several members of the church, a news release from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department stated.

Footage of the incident shows Ndikumana making his way behind the gunman before tackling him from behind. The pastor successfully takes Baganda to the ground as other parishioners jump in to help.

“Baganda told everyone to get up while he waved and pointed the handgun at the congregation. The pastor quickly tackled Baganda before any shots were fired. Several church members jumped in to assist in disarming Baganda and holding him to the ground until officers arrived on scene,” police said.

Baganda is not a member of the church, Ndikumana said, but the gunman had attended services before.

“He wanted to kill, that’s what first came to my mind,” Ndikumana told WKRN. Choir member Nzojibugami Noe, who was present during the incident, translated for the pastor.

Noe said the gunman had everyone in front of him “so he could have done anything.”

“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 continued, adding, “God wanted to show that he’s a powerful God. One main thing I said, we had faith.”

Baganda is charged with 15 counts of felony aggravated assault.

“The heroic actions of a local pastor and several of his parishioners saved a church from further violence this afternoon,” the police department’s statement read.

In September, thirteen people were injured and one killed by a gunman at the Kroger grocery store in Collierville, Tennessee, multiple law enforcement officials confirmed to FOX13.

The shooter died from a self-inflicted gunshot, officers said. Nine of the victims were transported to Regional One Hospital, with four in critical condition.