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Police: Suspect pulls gun during North Nashville church service, disarmed by pastor

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Posted at 6:50 PM, Nov 07, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The heroic actions of a pastor saved a congregation from violence on Sunday afternoon when a man pulled a gun during the service, police say.

According to Metro Police, 26-year-old Dezire Baganda was sitting at the front of the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church on West Trinity Lane when he pulled a gun out and walked up to the altar where the pastor was praying with several members.

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Baganda reportedly told everyone to get up while he waved and pointed the handgun towards the congregation.

Watch surveillance video below:

Video: Suspect pulls gun during North Nashville church service, disarmed by pastor

"We were so shocked seeing him come in the front and pull out a gun, the whole church was calm, we thank God if we started panicking, he may have started shooting around, but we all stayed calm," said Akimana Charite, a church member who witnessed what happened.

"That's when one of the pastors, I would say it's God using him. He went around on both sides; the guy with the gun was not paying attention to him. So he went around and that's when... he jumped on top of him and put him on the ground," Charite explained.

According to the pastor, even though Baganda was not a member of the church, he had attended services there before.

Baganda facing 57 counts of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

He is currently being held at the Davidson County Detention Center on a $375,000 bond. He is due in court to answer to these charges on Wednesday, November 10.