Bernard J. Polite, 26 (holding gun), entered the Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church in North Braddock just after 1 p.m. on May 5, 2024, and attempted to shoot the Rev. Glenn Germany, who was standing near the pulpit. | Screenshot/Facebook/Glenn Germany

Church gunman who tried to shoot pastor now charged in cousin’s murder

By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor |

A 26-year-old man is facing charges of criminal homicide after authorities discovered his cousin dead in their shared residence in North Braddock, Pennsylvania, hours before he attempted to shoot a local pastor, the Rev. Glenn Germany, during a church service at Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church, which was being broadcast live.

Bernard Junior Polite has been charged in the death of his cousin, Derek Polite, 56, Newsweek reported.

Early Sunday evening, Allegheny County Police were called to the North Braddock home where Derek was found deceased in a “pool of blood,” with a gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death was ruled a homicide following an autopsy. Neighbors contributed to the timeline of events, with one recounting a noise, possibly a gunshot, heard around 10 a.m. that day.

Later that afternoon, Bernard Polite entered Pastor Germany’s church during the service, which was being livestreamed to congregants and viewers. He attempted to shoot the pastor. His firearm, however, malfunctioned and did not fire.

Deacon Clarence McCallister played a crucial role by tackling Bernard, with assistance from the pastor, until police took over. The swift intervention prevented what could have been a tragic outcome. “By him reacting, it gave me the chance to come from behind the podium and help him out,” Germany was quoted as saying.

After witnessing Bernard’s arrest broadcast on the news, concerned family members went to check on Derek Polite, leading to the horrifying discovery of his body. A further investigation linked the firearm recovered from Bernard at the church to the projectile that killed Derek Polite, firmly connecting the two violent acts.

Germany was shocked to hear about Derek Polite’s murder. “That’s when the reality really sunk in that that gun was loaded, he pulled the trigger, you could’ve really died today,” he told Newsweek, attributing his survival to divine intervention.

Bernard Polite had no previous connections to Germany or the church. He is now detained at the Allegheny County Jail, facing not only a homicide charge but also charges of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person.

The church community, though shaken, has found a renewed sense of unity and support in the aftermath. Germany said the incident has “brought us closer together as a church,” according to Trib Live.

Germany also recounted the immediate moments of the attack. “When I saw the gun, I was just trying to get out of the way. I didn’t have time to think, I just reacted,” Germany said. He praised McCallister’s bravery, calling him a hero for his actions during the crisis.

McCallister, who was operating the cameras for the Facebook Live broadcast, shared his relief that the incident did not lead to physical injuries. “I was just hoping he didn’t get a shot off,” McCallister was quoted as saying. “I’m thankful that the pastor was getting out of the way, and that the bullet got jammed in the gun.”

Read more of this story

Visited 47 times, 1 visit(s) today

Comments are closed.