A man carrying a knife intruded a North Carolina church’s outdoor service on Sunday with the intention of stabbing congregants.
Deputy Tony Underwood, a spokesman for the Union County Sheriff’s Office, said that police are still trying to figure out why the man interrupted the service outside Oak Grove Baptist Church in Waxhaw, according to the New York Post. Underwood explained that the man lives across the street from the church, and that he had been shouting obscenities at congregation members on Sunday.
Police are guessing that the man was mad about the noise of the service. “We don’t know exactly what the gentleman was upset about,” he said. “We think it’s the noise, but we’re not exactly sure.”
The suspect has since been identified as 54-year-old Christopher Ross, according to The Blaze. Police were called after Ross asserted himself in the church service while wielding a knife, and at least one congregant tried unsuccessfully to stop him. “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,” said pastor Rich Myers.
When police quickly arrived on the scene, a deputy struggled with Ross before deploying Tasers, which failed to stop him. This left officers with no choice but to shoot Ross, and he is receiving medical treatment for this injury at this time. “The armed male continued fighting and a deputy eventually fired rounds from his service weapon, striking the male,” the police department said in a statement. They added that Ross’s injuries are not life-threatening.
Congregants of the church are feeling lucky that the incident was brought to an end before it could get any worse. “We bear him no ill will,” Pastor Myers said. “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.” Thank goodness police were able to stop this suspect before he could kill any churchgoers!