NATIONAL NEWS

A man tried to shoot a pastor during a church service but his gun wouldn’t fire, state police say

May 6, 2024, 7:35 AM | Updated: 9:38 am

A man who tried to shoot a pastor during a service at a Pennsylvania church because “God told him to do it” was thwarted when his gun didn’t fire and he was tackled by a congregant, authorities said.

The chaos at the Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church in North Braddock took place Sunday while the service was being livestreamed, state police said in a news release.

Bernard J. Polite, 26, of Braddock entered the church just after 1 p.m. and walked toward the front while the Rev. Glenn Germany was giving a sermon, police said. The pastor told WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh that Polite smiled at him and they made eye contact just before Polite pointed the gun at him. Germany then ducked out of the way as a male congregant tackled Polite.

Germany and the congregant then worked together to wrest the gun away from Polite, who was soon subdued and held until state troopers arrived.

Polite said “God told me to do it” and that he planned to shoot Germany and “wait to be arrested” so he could go to jail and clear his mind, according to court documents. He faces numerous charges, including aggravated assault and attempted homicide, and was being held Monday without bail at the Allegheny County Jail. State police said they they didn’t know if Polite has an attorney, and county court records did not list one.

The body of a shooting victim was found in a home near the church where Polite had been shortly before going to the church, county police said. The county Medical Examiner’s office identified the body Monday as Derek Polite, 56, of North Braddock, but did not say if he was related to Bernard Polite.

Polite was not known at the church, officials said. He wandered over to the church after hearing music coming from there, according to court documents.

“I am feeling grateful that I woke up this morning and that I am here. It could have gone an opposite direction,” Germany told The Associated Press on Monday. “But God has intervened and I am grateful for him.”

National News

Associated Press

Closing arguments set in trial of University of Arizona grad student accused of killing a professor

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday in the trial of a former University of Arizona graduate student accused of killing a professor on campus two years ago. Murad Dervish, 48, faces seven felony charges including first degree murder in the death of Thomas Meixner, 52, who was shot nine times near […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Arizona man sentenced to natural life in prison for the 2017 death of his wife, who was buried alive

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2017 death of his wife, who was buried alive in a hand-dug grave near their home, authorities said. Seven years after the murder, David Pagniano decided to plead guilty before his trial was scheduled […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Child is among 3 dead after Amtrak train hits a pickup truck in upstate New York

NEW YORK (AP) — A child was among the three victims killed when a passenger train hit a pickup truck, officials said. The northbound Amtrak train hit a Dodge truck Friday evening in North Tonawanda, New York, a small town along the Niagara River between Niagara Falls and Buffalo, police said. The victims included a […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

11 hurt in mass shooting that marked a weekend of gun violence in Savannah, Georgia

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — An argument between two women led to a gunfight that left 11 people hurt in a busy tourist area of Savannah, Georgia, late Saturday, one of five weekend shootings in the city, two of which were fatal, authorities said. Two people were injured in separate shootings Friday. Two more shootings Saturday […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Power expected to be restored to most affected by deadly Houston storm

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston area residents affected by deadly storms last week that left at least seven dead were finally getting some good news as officials said they expected power to be restored by Sunday evening to a majority of the hundreds of thousands still in the dark and without air conditioning amid hot and […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

America’s first Black astronaut candidate finally goes to space 60 years later on Bezos rocket

VAN HORN, Texas (AP) — America’s first Black astronaut candidate finally rocketed into space 60 years later, flying with Jeff Bezos’ rocket company on Sunday. Ed Dwight was an Air Force pilot when President John F. Kennedy championed him as a candidate for NASA’s early astronaut corps. But he wasn’t picked for the 1963 class. […]

8 hours ago

A man tried to shoot a pastor during a church service but his gun wouldn’t fire, state police say