‘God was with us’: Pastor and his congregation tackle armed man before he could open fire

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NASHVILLE, TN – A Pastor in Nashville, Tennessee was able to tackle a man who was walking along the pulpit while carrying a gun at the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church.

Thankfully, God was with the Pastor and his flock as no one was hurt.

On November 7th, Pastor Ezekiel Ndikumana had just finished the church service and had conducted an alter call, (asking people who are willing to receive Christ to walk up and be prayed with), when things took a bizarre twist.

As Ndikumana walked down from the pulpit, a member of the crowd, identified as Dezire Baganda, stood and pulled a gun.

According to an arrest affidavit from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Baganda stood on the stage by the pulpit and began waving it. Terrified members of the congregation can be seen fleeing outside of the sanctuary while others seemingly sit the pews in shock.

On the church surveillance video, Ndikumana can be seen standing up and starting to walk out of the church while Baganda was walking around waving the gun.

Baganda turned his back on Ndikumana, who clearly had no intention of leaving his church, taking the opportunity to sneak up and take Baganda down.

The spokesman for the Metro Nashville Police Department, Don Aaron, explained that Ndikumana was able to maneuver around a chair and rush Baganda. Ndikumana was able to tackle him and keep control of him while others jumped in to prevent Baganda from firing the weapon.

Aaron said:

“After moving a chair out of his way, he [Ndikumana] rushed and tackled the suspect, bringing him to the ground.”

One of the hero’s in the crowd, Nzojibugami Noe, jumped up from the front pew and jumped onto Baganda, helping to hold him at bay with Ndikumana and others until police could arrive. Noe spoke of the heroic actions taken by Ndikumana that undoubtedly saved the lives of those in the church service. He said:

“It happened real fast. He snuck right behind me as soon as he got up and snagged to the left pretending to go out, then quickly got on him…It was very amazing.”

Ndikumana, who immigrated from Burundi, was interviewed by WKRN after the incident. However, due to his inability to speak English, the interview was translated by Noe. Ndikumana said:

“He [Baganda] wanted to kill, that’s what first came to my mind…I would say that God used me because I felt like I was going to use the back door as an example as going on by trying to go behind him. And then I felt the feeling that I would go and grab him…and that’s what happened.”

Every member of that church and community is thankful that the situation ended in this manner, with no bloodshed. Ndikumana and Noe both praised God for helping them stop Baganda from shooting and injuring anyone. Ndikumana said:

“God wanted to show that he’s a powerful God. One main thing I said, we had faith.”

Metro Nashville Police took Baganda into custody and charged him with fifteen counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. On November 8th, additional charges were issued against him for aggravated assault which brought the total count to 57 felony charges.

Baganda is no stranger to the church as he has attended services in the past, but he was not a member. In February, he was asked to no longer attend as he became a distraction to sermons given because he continually interrupted the services.

The Metro Nashville Police Department has not released any information as to why they believe Baganda allegedly threatened the members of the church with a gun. They also have not said if they believed if he had been planning a mass shooting.

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LET Unity

Armed citizen takes down active shooter outside fitness center, saving countless lives

KALISPELL, MT – An armed citizen is said to have taken down an active shooter who murdered a fitness center employee earlier in September.

While initial reports indicated that the citizen who stepped in may have been a veteran, the man responded to those assertions saying he’s not a veteran – but simply “an American Montana man”.

 

According to reports, the incident occurred in the parking lot of the Fuel Fitness center at 1305 Highway 2 West at about 10:52 a.m. on September 16th.

The incident started off after 27-year-old Fuel Fitness manager Matthew David Hurley, along with his assistant manager Matthew Underhill, approached a vagrant sleeping in the rear parking lot to discuss a refund over an unused membership.

Apparently, the discussion became heated, as the vagrant was reportedly demanding more money than was being offered by the two regarding this refund.

When both Hurley and Underhill informed the vagrant that he wasn’t going to be offered anymore money, the vagrant allegedly said they were “going to die today.”

The suspect opened fire on the two employees, fatally shooting Hurley while Underhill was able to reach cover.

While this was going on, William Keck – a member of the fitness center – was going out to his car to retrieve his wallet. However, when Keck stepped outside, he heard the gunfire and another gym employee informed him that Hurley had been shot.

 

Keck then ran out to his vehicle to retrieve his firearm and told the vagrant to stop shooting – but instead, the suspect then allegedly turned his attention toward Keck and fired at him. Keck returned fire, striking the vagrant.

When the suspect was on the ground after being struck, Keck reportedly repeated commands for the suspect to stay on the ground and cease firing. Yet, the suspect fired off two more rounds, striking Keck once in the thigh.

After being shot, Keck retrieved his dog from his vehicle and went back inside of the gym to seek immediate care for his wound. By the time police arrived at the scene, they’d happened upon Keck and the suspect both suffering from gunshot wounds.

According to a statement from the Kalispell Police Department regarding their response, both the suspect and Keck were transported to Logan Health for treatment of their wounds. Keck has since clearly recovered, but the suspect was listed as being “in critical condition and remains under law enforcement supervision.”

When speaking about the incident to a local news outlet, Keck recounted what was going through his mind while engaging the armed suspect:

“The only thing that bothers me traumatically from this event was seeing Matt Hurley on the ground. In the exchange with him, I knew he had just killed someone. Who else is he gonna kill?”

Keck noted that if he had to do it again, he would, saying that having a firearm saved his life and others that day:

“My motto in life is to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it. I firmly believe in the right to bear arms, and this is an example why.”

When addressing initial reports that suggested Keck was a veteran, he took to social media to clear the air, writing the following:

“I am not a vet. I’m just an American Montana man who loves his country and community and was put in a spot where God used me to do what I could. I’m not a hero. I just did what I thought was right.”

Kalispell Police Chief Doug Overman stated that his department will not yet release the name of the suspect until formal charges have been handed down. He confirmed that the case has been submitted to the Flathead County Attorney’s Office.

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