Pastor talks down gunman

Alyssa Magrone, Copy Editor/A&E Editor

During a New Year’s prayer service, a gunman walked into a church with intentions to kill. What could have ended in tragedy resolved peacefully.

According to CNN, Pastor Larry Wright of Fayetteville, North Carolina was discussing the topic of senseless deaths in the community when the armed man walked his way into the church.

“I’m the first person to see him and when I saw him, I thought it was a dummy gun but then I saw the bullet clip in his hand and the bullets were shining,” Wright said.

According to the Fayetteville Observer, Wright did not hesitate to confront the gunman. Wright said he would act according to the man’s reaction.

“If he was belligerent, I was going to tackle him,” Wright said.

But instead the gunman revealed to be nonviolent and asked Wright to pray for him. He then surrendered his weapon.

“And then I began to minister to him and pray to him and talk with him,” Wright said.

As the service was coming to a close, police were waiting outside for the unnamed gunman. But Wright asked police to wait so the service could be completed.

“I finished the message, I did the altar call and he stood right up, came up to the altar, and gave his life to Christ,” Wright said.

Afterwards, the man proceeded to have conversation with the 60 or so church goers, and confessed he arrived with cruel intentions.

Wright told CNN, “It’s so hard to describe, to explain the excitement and love of God in the room. The man came in to do harm and he has given his life to Christ.”

Wright was not the only one who believed it was God who changed the man’s intentions.

“I think that night the spirit of God was definitely in the place,” Deacon Sylvester Loving said.

The Fayetteville Observer stated that Lt. David McLaurin said the man requested to be taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

Wright believed the man went to the hospital for mental evaluations. Although he never caught the man’s last name, he intends to remain in contact.

“I want to follow up with him and see that he’s getting the help and resources he needs,” Wright said.