Bernard Polite: Gunman who tried to kill pastor says 'spirits' asked him to do it as another body found at shooter's home

Bernard Polite: Gunman who tried to kill pastor says 'spirits' asked him to do it as another body found at shooter's home
Bernard Polite tried to kill pastor Glenn Germany during a live sermon (AlleghenyCounty, CBS video Screengrab)

NORTH BRADDOCK, PENNSYLVANIA: A gunman who opened fire on a Pennsylvania pastor during a sermon was taken into custody following a horrifying incident that was caught on camera. Police later discovered one of the pastor's relatives had been shot to death in his home.

Bernard Polite, 26, was arrested on May 5 after he tried to shoot pastor Glenn Germany at the Jesus' Dwelling Place Church in North Braddock. 

Pastor Glenn Germany says gunman smiled at him before firing shots

Germany was seen running for cover in a terrifying livestream of the incident as the perpetrator brandished the weapon in front of churchgoers, including the pastor's 14-year-old daughter. The pastor told WPXI, "He pulled the gun; it clicked. You heard him shoot it. God jammed the gun so the bullet didn’t come out.”

The gunman made his way to the front pew, where Germany was delivering her sermon to about twenty-five parishioners.

“He stood up and he smiled at me. And it was just a smile,” Germany said. “He comes to right here and then all of a sudden, that’s when I see him pull the gun and all I could do is duck and try to get out of the way,” the pastor recalled. 

Clarence McCallister, the deacon of the church, was seen on camera hopping over Polite. Together, he and the pastor took the suspect's gun and restrained him until the police could arrive.

“God had his hands on the pastor,” McCallister said. “He wasn’t letting him go nowhere.”

Bernard Polite says 'spirits' asked him to shoot the pastor

According to Germany, the suspect told him while he was being held that "spirits" in his head asked him to fire shots. “He said, ‘The spirits were in my mind. They got in my mind and told me to shoot the pastor,” Germany recalled, according to the New York Post.

Various other sources have differing versions of his confession with some even attributing it to "God told him to do it," and that he wanted to go to jail to clear his mind.

“He actually apologized to me. I told him that ‘I forgive you and want you to know I love you,’ but yes, I definitely forgave him,” Germany went on to say.

The pastor described what the gunman said to him in a different interview with WTAE, "'You ducked a taco today. That’s what he told me, and I guess that’s slang for ‘You ducked a bullet.'”

Polite faces several charges including attempted murder and aggravated assault. 

Allegheny County police reported that shortly after arresting Polite, they made the horrifying discovery of a 56-year-old man's body shot to death in his residence, which was located less than half a mile from the church.

Derek Polite's kin Bernard Polite found dead shortly after pastor was shot at 

When Derek Polite, the victim, was shot to death was not immediately apparent. Without providing specific details, a police spokesperson told NBC News that the victim is a relative of Polite.

According to local reports, the suspect in the incident at the church lived with his uncle. “At this point, no charges have been filed in connection with the homicide and it remains an active investigation,” the police spokesperson, Jim Madalinsky said.

Polite's legal representation may not be immediately apparent. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 13 in court.

“Nothing bad has ever happened in that home,” neighbor Guy Diperna said. “There were no domestic violence, no fights, no argument that we know of that we could ever have heard,” he added.  

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