Detroit pastor shoots, kills assailant during church service
The incident happened about 15 minutes after the start of the 1:30 p.m. service at the City of God ministries storefront church, according to Assistant Police Chief Steve Dolunt. The attacker met the minister in the vestibule.
The preacher, who was not named by Dolunt, responded by drawing a pistol and shooting the brick-wielding attacker multiple times.
“They knew each other and had some type of problem before,” Dolunt said of the minister and the victim, according to the Detroit Free Press. “When I got there, the body had already been moved. The pastor was in custody. We had the gun."
The victim was identified as Deante Smith, and the minister remains in police custody.
A previous police report had been filed against Smith involving threats against the church as recently last month, according to Dolunt.
“Can't wait to see Sunday message at the City of God Ministry. I’ll be there with the truth,”
Smith wrote on his Facebook on September 16, according to Detroit News. “This (expletive) gonna hit the fan.”
Two Detroit police sources said that detectives were investigating a possible love triangle between Smith, his wife and their pastor, according to Detroit News.
Weeks before the arriving at the church with a brick and being shot, Smith had made multiple posts on Facebook ranting that his minister had made his wife pregnant.
“That wasn’t my baby that was (his wife) and pastor(’s) baby,” he wrote on September 15, according to Detroit News. Later, on September 18, he said: “This (expletive) got my (expletive) pregnant. Tick tock (expletive) and everybody with you.”
Smith made several posts in the weeks leading up to his death related to the pain he was feeling about the alleged affair. “I’m hurting, yall,” he wrote on October 8, according to Detroit News.
In the wake of June’s mass shooting in a Charleston, South Carolina church, many Detroit pastors said they planned to increase security at their houses of worship. In July 2014 an off-duty Detroit police officer who was working as a church security guard shot and killed an ax-wielding man at the Citadel Praise of Church.
“Thinking far out about it, I do hope the church does not become a place where you have security like an airport...,” Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey said, as cited by Detroit News.
“My concern is churches are becoming a place where you can no longer welcome people freely. And that shouldn’t happen.”