A man points a gun at a church pastor before getting tackled. Then the suspect’s relative is found dead in the gunman’s home

Editor’s note: Find the latest coverage of the gunman at Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church here.

An armed man gave no warning as he walked toward the front of Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church in Pennsylvania on Sunday, raised a gun toward the pastor’s face and pulled the trigger.

What happened next may have been divine intervention, Pastor Glenn Germany said.

“I’m thankful to God that I’m still here, because he definitely pulled the trigger,” Germany told CNN affiliate WTAE.

The gunman “attempted to shoot, but the firearm failed to discharge,” Pennsylvania State Police said in a statement.

The incident in North Braddock was captured on the church’s livestreamed video. Immediately after the gunman pulled the trigger, a church member tackled the suspect to the ground.

Police say Bernard Polite tried to shoot a pastor in North Braddock, but the gun wouldn't discharge. - Jesus' Dwelling Place Church
Police say Bernard Polite tried to shoot a pastor in North Braddock, but the gun wouldn't discharge. - Jesus' Dwelling Place Church

State police identified the suspect as 26-year-old Bernard Junior Polite.

It’s not clear why the suspect tried to shoot the pastor. Germany said he had never seen the gunman before Sunday, WTAE reported.

“All of a sudden, I just seen a gun pointing right at me,” the pastor told the affiliate. “And at that point, all I could do was run for cover.”

As Germany ran and hid behind a lectern, the church’s cameraman rushed the gunman and tackled him to the ground, according to WTAE. The pastor quickly emerged from behind the lectern and helped subdue the suspect.

Polite faces charges of attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person, court records show.

He was arraigned early Monday morning and was denied bail. He is being held at Allegheny County Jail, and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 13.

It was not immediately clear if Polite has an attorney.

After the attempted shooting at the church, police found the body of a man who was shot in Polite’s home, Allegheny County police told CNN. The homicide victim was identified as 56-year-old Derek Polite, a relative of the suspect from the church incident.

“County Police can confirm Bernard Polite, a suspect in a previous incident Sunday morning at a North Braddock church, is known to live at the residence where the shooting occurred and is a relative of the shooting victim,” police spokesperson Jim Madalinsky told CNN in an email.

“At this point, no charges have been filed in connection with the homicide and it remains an active investigation.”

CNN’s Lechelle Benken contributed to this report.

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