A man burst in on a North Carolina church’s outdoor service on Sunday with the reported aim of attacking congregants with a knife, the New York Post said on Monday.
A quick-thinking sheriff’s deputy was almost immediately on the scene, however, and was able to take down the suspect.
What are the details?
The suspect — who reportedly lives across the street from the Oak Grove Baptist Church in Waxhaw, North Carolina — purportedly became irate Sunday morning, charging the service while armed with a knife.
Authorities reveal that the suspect is 54-year-old Christopher Ross.
According to WSOC-TV, deputies arrived on the scene after reports of Ross interrupting the service and threatening congregants.
The outlet reported that at least one churchgoer attempted to diffuse Ross’s anger, but was unsuccessful.
“I couldn’t really hear what the words were, but the gentleman had come to the edge of his driveway. Was yelling and very belligerent,” pastor Rich Myers said.
A sheriff’s deputy arrived on the scene and ended up struggling with the suspect before deploying tasers. The tasers apparently did not work, and the deputy ended up with no choice but to fire his weapon at the suspect, striking him.
A statement from the department said, “The armed male continued fighting and a deputy eventually fired rounds from his service weapon, striking the male.”
Authorities then arrested the suspect and took him to a nearby hospital where he received medical treatment.
Deputy Tony Underwood, a spokesperson for the Union County Sheriff’s Office, said its department was investigating the unnamed man’s motives and said that the man might have been upset from the noise from the outdoor service.
“We don’t know exactly what the gentleman was upset about,” Underwood said. “We think it’s the noise, but we’re not exactly sure.”
The suspect’s injuries are not life-threatening, according to the outlet.
Myers later added, “We bear him no ill will. We don’t wish any hardship on him at all. It could’ve been a lot worse, but there was divine intervention. There’s a big comfort in that.”
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the incident as it involves a law enforcement officer. The suspect faces charges of disorderly conduct for interfering with a church service, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon against law enforcement officers, and resist, delay, and obstructing an officer according to WSOC.