Churchgoers at a Detroit service got the shock of a lifetime when their pastor shot a man during worship Sunday, according to local reports.

The shooting took place at the City Of God Church on Detroit’s west side, when 26-year-old Deante Smith entered the service carrying a brick. Police say the man was well-known to both the pastor and the congregation, as he had been the source of tension with them before.

The 37-year-old pastor, reportedly feeling endangered , pulled out a Glock and shot the man multiple times. The family of the victim tells the Detroit Free Press that the pastor was having an affair with the victim’s wife and that the two had once been close friends before their relationship went sour.

Deante Smith

The Detroit News reported that Smith’s Facebook posts had become increasingly troubled in the weeks prior to his death.

The incident happened about 15 minutes into the 1:30 p.m. Sunday service at the City of God ministries storefront church on Grand River near Lahser, Assistant Chief Steve Dolunt said.

“The pastor had had issues with the man before,” Dolunt said. “He had been threatening him to do bodily harm. He walked into the service and went after the pastor with a brick. The pastor pulled out his Glock and fired several shots. I think he hit him four or five times, and the man died.”

The victim was identified as Deante Smith, 26, of Detroit, police said.

Two Detroit police sources said detectives were investigating a possible love triangle between Smith, his wife and their pastor.

Dolunt said police were called to the church in September. On Sept. 16, Smith wrote he planned to attend the church.

“Can’t wait to see Sunday message at the City of God Ministry,” he wrote. “I’ll be there with the truth.”

Later that day, Smith wrote: “This (expletive) gonna hit the fan.”

In a Sept. 15 post, Smith wrote: “That wasn’t my baby that was (his wife) and pastor(’s) baby.” That preceded a Sept. 18 rant: “This (expletive) got my (expletive) pregnant. Tick tock (expletive) and everybody with you.”

Smith posted several times in the weeks leading up to his death about the pain he wasfeeling about the alleged affair. On Oct. 8, he wrote: “I’m hurting, yall.”

His posts appeared to concern friends, one of whom wrote on Oct. 13, “may I ask (what) is going on with you?”

Smith replied: “I’m crazy they call me S.O.N.I.C.”

The pastor was questioned and released without any arrest or charge.

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Was A Love Triangle The Reason Why A Detroit Pastor Killed A Man During Service?  was originally published on

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