Pastor and musician say man brandishes pistol at church service
By Tosin Fakile, Cameron Taylor
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) – The pastor and pianist of a church in North Nashville recounted the minutes a man brandished a gun during Sunday worship.
âI don’t know how I can explain it, but I am very grateful to God for the way he has used us where no one has been hurt,â said Ezekiel Ndikumana, the pastor of the church.
Pastor Ndikumana and Nzojibugami Noe said it all happened at the time of the service at the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church on Trinity Lane, when people in need of prayers were invited to come to the church.
“While I was singing the chorus, I had my eyes closed, and when I had my eyes closed, that’s when I heard the guy standing there because he stood up. pretty quickly, âNoe said. âHe would wave the gun, wave the gun at the church and everyone, and tell some people to move or get up. Some of them were already on the ground, ready to be prayed for for them.
Noe said that’s when his pastor stepped in.
âIt reminded me of how David defeated Goliath,â Noe said. “I will say that was the strength that God put in our pastor.”
He described the times the pastor started to take action before shooting the man down with the gun. Police identified the man as 26-year-old Dezire Baganda.
âMy pastor walked, took steps, stood right here for a little while to see what he was doing, making sure he wasn’t looking at him,â Noe said, describing the actions of Ezekiel Ndkiumanan. “Then he walked, took a few more steps and made sure he wasn’t looking at him, then he opened the door pretending to come out, then he kept an eye on him.
Ndikumana then tackled Baganda to the ground.
âAs soon as he saw it, didn’t look at it, he went quickly, pushed the chair and then grabbed it, then they all fell to the ground. That’s when everyone came to help him to make sure he stayed on the ground and the gun was away from him.
Ndkiumana and other church members held Baganda down until the police arrived.
âI was trying to tell everyone to get out, to get out, because it wasn’t safe,â Noe said.
âIt was either die or catch him where he didn’t hurt anyone, which God used to grab him so as not to hurt anyone,â said Pastor Ndikumana.
Baganda was originally charged with 15 counts of aggravated assault. On Monday, police said Baganda now faces 57 counts of aggravated assault.
Baganda is no stranger to the church. Noe said Baganda went to church in February and interrupted the service when he was there. Noe said he never returned to church until Sunday.
âThey warned him first. They said what you are doing is wrong, you are interrupting the service, âNoe said. âWhen he came back yesterday he looked different because he had dreads before and he came back without dreads. He was calm, he was very calm. He was sitting all the time and we didn’t know he had anything else planned.
Noe said he was not afraid to return to church next Sunday, worried something else would happen.
“I’m not scared. I’m not nervous at all because this is where I come to church and I love it here and I feel very safe every time I come to church. here, âNoe said.
It was a scary experience on Sunday, but according to Noe it all ended in the best possible way with everyone leaving the church unharmed.
âI would say that God has given us all the strength to be calm and not to worry, just like the word of God we heard at the start of the service,â Noe said.
Although no one was injured and no shots were fired, it was a day that church members will never forget.
âWe still have thoughts because we don’t know the future to come. We don’t know if he came alone or if he has another group outside, âsaid Pastor Ndikumana.
The pastor said he was unable to say if he would hire a security guard, but he plans to speak with other church leaders before making the call.
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