Pastor Disarms Man Who Pulled Out Gun During Church Service

Potential bloodshed was averted at a Sunday afternoon church service when a man brandishing a gun was tackled by a pastor and his parishioners.

Metropolitan Nashville Police Department confirmed dramatic intervention took place at the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church.

Dezire Baganda, 26, was sitting at the front of the church when he displayed a firearm, approaching the altar where the pastor and the congregation were praying.

However, the church's pastor, named as Ezekiel Ndikumana by local media station WKRN, was among those who were able to safely disarm the man before any shots were fired.

Baganda is understood to have ordered everyone to stand while he "waved and pointed the handgun at the congregation," police said.

They added the pastor tackled Baganda before any shots were fired. Several church members then jumped in to assist in removing the weapon from the suspect, pinning Baganda to the ground until cops could arrive.

"He wanted to kill, that's what first came to my mind," Ndikumana told WKRN via a translator.

A clip of the incident, seen by WKRN, shows the pastor pretending to walk out of the building before sneaking behind the gun-waving Baganda and pushing him to the ground.

North Nashville church
Dezire Baganda (pictured, R) is charged with 15 counts of felony aggravated assault after reportedly pulling a gun in a North Nashville church on Sunday Getty/MNPD

Commenting on the video, Ndikumana said: "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."

Choir member Nzojibugami Noe added: "He was standing in the front of almost everybody. No one was behind him yet, so he could have done anything."

Although Baganda was not considered a member of the church, he had previously attended services at the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church.

Baganda is to be charged with 15 counts of felony aggravated assault, while police said that "multiple counts are expected to be added at the first of the week."

His bond was set at $375,000.

Newsweek has contacted the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church and Nashville Police Department for updates on this story.

Late last month, it was reported judges from the Court of Appeals will not disqualify themselves to hear Dylann Roof's appeal of his conviction and death sentence in the racially motivated 2015 shooting in a South Carolina church.

And New York's Police Commissioner this month announced his concerns the U.S. Supreme Court could hamper law enforcement's ability to tackle gun crime in the city.