Arrested, Sermon, Gun, Bible, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Man Arrested After Allegedly Pointing Gun At Pastor During Sermon

26-year-old Bernard Junior Polite was arrested after pointing a gun at Rev. Glenn Germany. Allegedly tells police, “God told me to do it”

A Pennsylvania man allegedly tried to shoot a pastor during his service in Pennsylvania on May 5, and due to the gun not firing, a tragedy was averted as another parishioner and the pastor tackled the man to the ground.

According to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 26-year-old Bernard Junior Polite was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police after he allegedly fired a gun at Rev. Glenn Germany at Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church in North Braddock. Police stated that the suspect did so “because the spirits in his head told him to,” according to charges filed. The incident, which took place after 1 p.m., was viewed online as the service was being streamed live.

Polite is being held without bail at Allegheny County Jail and is facing several charges, including aggravated assault and attempted homicide.

As Rev. Germany was at the front of the church speaking to the congregation, Polite calmly walked into the frame and allegedly pointed the weapon at the pastor. Rev. Germany ran for cover behind the podium, as Polite continued to pursue the pastor, another man came from behind and brought Polite down and Germany joined the man in subduing the suspect and grabbed the gun from him. The men kept him on the ground as others came to gather and start talking to him.

According to a police complaint, Polite allegedly stated that “God told me to do it” and he planned on shooting the pastor and to be arrested “so he could go to jail and clear his mind.”

WTAE spoke to Germany about the incident.

“I’m thankful to God that I’m still here because he definitely pulled the trigger,” said Germany. He said he never saw Polite until Sunday. He stated he noticed him going in and out of the church before he approached him.

“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.”

Later that evening, police said that a body was discovered at Polite’s home. The man was found shot to death and was identified as Derek Polite, who was 56, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office. Bernard has not been charged in connection with Derek’s death as the investigation of his death is ongoing.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 13.