Home Christian News Gunman Arrested After Failed Attempt at Mass Shooting at Predominantly Black Church

Gunman Arrested After Failed Attempt at Mass Shooting at Predominantly Black Church

Jeffrey Harris
Screengrab via KDKA

On Sunday (Aug. 27), police in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, arrested a man who they now believe was planning a mass shooting at a predominantly Black church in the town. Members of Dominion Church of the Millennium contacted police after Jeffrey Harris, 38, allegedly pointed a gun at two women at an intersection near the church. 

Harris allegedly sought to enter the church with a shotgun but was unable to follow through on his plan because of how crowded the building was. 

Police reported that Harris also pointed his gun at an officer, according to the Beaver County Times. Harris was apprehended shortly thereafter, at which point police said he began making “bizarre comments” about a deceased brother. 

When they arrested Harris, officers discovered he was carrying additional ammunition and was in possession of methamphetamine.

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Police determined that the weapon had recently been fired. 

Kenneth Crumb, pastor of Dominion Church, suggested that if Harris had arrived at the church before it became packed with worshippers, the result could have been devastating. 

“Thank God for his grace, for his covering over us, because this could have been a total different way,” Crumb said. “There is a whole lot of mass murders going on, there is shootings, particularly in the African American community, people targeting our communities.”

Despite the fact that Harris apparently targeted the predominantly Black church, Ambridge Police Chief John DeLuca said that he doesn’t believe the crime was racially or religiously motivated but rather was the result of Harris’ alleged use of methamphetamine and preexisting mental health challenges.

Officers said that once Harris became lucid, he did not say or do anything that would indicate he was motivated to commit a hate crime. 

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When police searched Harris’ home, which is near Dominion Church, they discovered that Harris had prepared the house “for a standoff.” The porch had been covered in a slippery substance, which police surmised from an emptied bottle nearby to be personal lubricant.