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Pennsylvania pastor "blessed" to be alive after gunman tries to shoot him during sermon

Pennsylvania pastor "blessed" to be alive after man tries to shoot him during sermon
Pennsylvania pastor "blessed" to be alive after man tries to shoot him during sermon 02:21

NORTH BRADDOCK, Pa. (KDKA) -- A Pennsylvania pastor said he's "blessed" to be alive after a man pulled a gun on him in the middle of his sermon Sunday and tried to shoot. 

Twenty-six-year-old Bernard Polite of Braddock is charged with attempted homicide after police said he took aim at Pastor Glenn Germany at Jesus' Dwelling Place Church. 

Just down the street, Allegheny County police are also investigating a shooting that left a man dead. Police said they were called to a house near Stokes Avenue and Coalmont Street for calls of a man shot. Inside they found 56-year-old Derek Polite dead inside. It's the same address as the one listed for Bernard Polite. Neighbors said the two are cousins.

"I was really shocked. I couldn't really believe it," neighbor Benjamin Jordan said.

Police are not saying Bernard shot Derek. They are still investigating. But after police said Bernard Polite pointed a gun at Germany, the pastor said he's lucky to be alive. 

"I'm blessed to still be here," Pastor Germany said.

On Monday, Pastor Germany was still emotional recalling the moments of fear when he saw the gun pointed at him. 

"He shot. You can hear the gun click. He shot and he came towards me," Germany said.

His 14-year-old daughter was in the congregation. He thought it was the end.

"Just watching my daughter break down after the fact of what happened to her seeing it, it touches you in a way," Germany said while holding back tears.

Pennsylvania State Police have charged Bernard Polite, 26, of Braddock after he entered and attempted to shoot pastor Glenn Germany while the pastor was delivering a sermon at Jesus' Dwelling Place Church on Sunday. Provided

Video taken by the church's deacon and posted online by Germany shows the moment the pastor suddenly found himself staring down the barrel of a gun. As Germany ducked out of the way, Deacon Clarence McCallister jumped up and tackled Polite.

Polite and the pastor don't know each other. Polite allegedly went in and out of the church a few times before pointing the gun at Germany. Court papers said Polite told the pastor God told him to do this. Germany believes he may have been under the influence of something.  

"Once we had him down, he gave me no fight. He was talking to me no different than you me talking right now. Even when I talked to him later in the police car, he apologized to me," Germany said.

At this point, the pastor doesn't plan to have extra security or police for their services. He wants the doors to be open.

Pastor Germany said he forgives Polite for doing this and wants to work with him to better his life.

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