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Attempted Shooting at North Braddock Church: A Troubling Incident of Mental Health Crisis

Bernard Polite is accused of pulling out a gun and trying to shoot a pastor while he was delivering a sermon at a church in North Braddock, Pa.
Bernard Polite is accused of pulling out a gun and trying to shoot a pastor while he was delivering a sermon at a church in North Braddock, Pa.

A church service in North Braddock, Pennsylvania was upended Sunday when a man pulled a gun on the pastor in the middle of his sermon. Pennsylvania State Police have charged 26-year-old Bernard Polite of Braddock in connection with the incident.

The pastor of Jesus' Dwelling Place Church, Glenn Germany, was in the midst of delivering his sermon when the unimaginable occurred. Video footage captured the moment when Pastor Germany faced a gun pointed at him, a situation he described as surreal. Miraculously, the gun malfunctioned, preventing any harm from coming to pass.


In a display of incredible bravery, church Deacon Clarence McCallister swiftly intervened, tackling the armed man to the ground as Pastor Germany safely retreated. Describing McCallister as a hero, Pastor Germany expressed gratitude for his quick actions that protected the congregation from harm. The combined efforts of McCallister and Pastor Germany were instrumental in subduing Polite until law enforcement arrived.

Following the incident, Pastor Germany had a conversation with Polite, revealing that the latter attributed his actions to dealing with dark influences and voices in his mind, indicating a struggle with mental health issues. Despite the trauma endured, Pastor Germany extended forgiveness towards Polite, recognizing the need for understanding and compassion towards individuals grappling with mental illness.

While the church congregation grappled with the shock of the event, Pastor Germany emphasized the importance of addressing mental health within the community. He shared that Polite had exhibited erratic behavior before the altercation, underscoring the need for awareness and support for those facing mental health challenges.

Bernard Polite now faces serious charges, including aggravated assault and attempted homicide. Bail was denied, and he is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in the coming week. In a tragic turn of events, police are investigating a fatal shooting at Polite's residence, where a man was found deceased. The victim has been identified as Derek Polite, further deepening the complexity of this unfolding situation.

This poignant narrative serves as a stark reminder of the fragility of life and the resilience found within faith and community. Amidst the turmoil, Pastor Germany's unwavering strength and compassion in the face of adversity stand as a testament to the power of forgiveness and unity amidst chaos.


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