A bishop in New York City was robbed at gunpoint in the middle of his sermon on Sunday (July 24), and the entire ordeal was captured on video.
The service at Ransen Avenue in Canarsie, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, was being live-streamed when according to Bishop Lamor Whitehead, three to four men walked in with guns in what he believes was a targeted attack. Less than 10 minutes into his service, Whitehead saw the door in the back of the room kick open.
“I said, ‘Alright, alright, alright,’ pretty much stating that I’m not going to do anything because I know you’re coming for me. You’re coming straight to me. I don’t want my parishioners hurt. I’ve got women and children there,” Whitehead, a member of Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries, told CBS2.
“As I got down, one went to my wife and took all her jewelry and had the gun in front of my 8-month-old baby’s face. Took off my bishop’s ring, my wedding band and took off my bishop’s chain, and then I had chains underneath my robe and he started tapping my neck to see if anything else. So that means they knew. They watched and they knew that I have other jewelry,” he explained.
The video shows the gun being held on the pastor as he urges those in attendance to do as the robbers wish, who dropped to the floor in silence.
“My church is traumatized. The women and children are still crying. Babies are still crying,” he said.
According to police, the men took off in a white Mercedes with around $400,000 worth of jewelry. Cops do, however have a license plate of the vehicle and witnesses outside the church saw the men charge clothes outside.
“These men, they need to turn themselves in,” Whitehead said. “I forgive you and I’m praying for you, and I hope that God deliver you from the mindset of who you are at this time.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for New York Mayor Eric Adams said, “No one in this city should be the victim of armed robbery, let alone our faith leaders and congregants worshiping in a House of God. The NYPD is investigating this crime and will work tirelessly to bring the criminals involved to justice.”
Thankfully, no one was hurt.