WINNIPEG - The Morden Police Service says a couple of off-duty police officers attending a church service this weekend helped disarm a man with a gun after police were called half an hour after the service, featuring a talk about “the Villains of Easter,” had started.
Police say they responded at around 10 am on Sunday to reports of a disturbance at Westside Community Church at the west end of the city. A man had come to the church and reportedly began yelling profanities and making gestures during the church’s first morning service. Officers say the man was eventually observed lifting his sweater, which revealed a gun tucked into his pants.
But also in attendance at the service were two police officers from the nearby City of Winkler, who jumped into action and stayed near the man as police made their way there. When police arrived, they instructed staff to pull the fire alarm, prompting members to exit the building. Morden police say the man resisted arrest, but was taken into custody with the help of the off-duty officers from the Winkler Police Service. During a body search, they discovered that the gun observed tucked into the suspect’s waistband was a replica.
Senior Pastor Gerald Dyck led another service right after the incident, and says the break outside happened on a beautiful morning, and emphasized the need for the community to be connected while opening the next service.
A 32-year-old man faces several charges, including assault with a weapon, possessing a concealed weapon in a public place for a dangerous purpose, causing a disturbance and creating a nuisance.
The City of Morden is an hour and a half southwest of Winnipeg, and has a population of around 9,000.