The man who attacked a pastor with a brick at a church service before the pastor pulled out his gun and fatally shot him wrote on Facebook weeks before that the pastor had impregnated his wife.
There was an expected love triangle involving Deante Smith, the victim; his wife and the pastor, police say. Deja Ward, Smith’s sister, said that her brother had gone to the City of God Ministry on Grand River near Lahser to get closure with the pastor. Smith and his wife had previously lived with the pastor and considered him as a mentor. “[Smith] never brought beef to anybody,” Ward said, as reported by the Detroit News. “He wanted closure so he could start counseling. I guess it turned a whole other way.”
Before arriving at the church, Smith had written on Facebook about going to find out the truth about his wife and the pastor. “Can’t wait to see Sunday message at the City of God Ministry,” Smith wrote on September 16. “I’ll be there with the truth.” He wrote later that day, “This (expletive) gonna hit the fan.” On the previous day, September 15, he had written, “That wasn’t my baby that was (his wife) and pastor(’s) baby.”
On September 18, he went on to write, “This (expletive) got my (expletive) pregnant. Tick tock (expletive) and everybody with you.” He expressed his sadness over the alleged affair in the weeks leading to the shooting incident. He wrote on October 8, “I’m hurting, yall.” This elicited concerned response from one of his friends, who wrote on October 13, “may I ask (what) is going on with you?” Smith replied to it, saying, “I’m crazy they call me S.O.N.I.C.”
The pastor who fatally shot Smith was detained initially but was subsequently released Monday, Assistant Chief Steve Dolunt of Detroit police said. The name of the pastor has not been disclosed as he has not been charged with a crime. “We’ve heard several allegations and are looking into that but haven’t substantiated anything,” Dolunt said.
The shooting that resulted in Smith’s death occurred at around 1:45 p.m. ET. While Smith never went inside the church, he tried to attack the pastor in the vestibule. The pastor then went on to shoot Smith multiple times, including one shot to his chest, with a semi-automatic pistol. Smith was transported to the Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich., where he succumbed to his wounds. “They’re painting him to be a monster, but he wasn’t,” said Smith’s cousin, Detrese Abbot, as reported by USA Today. “This is not just a strange man that walked in looking to harm someone. … We’re just trying to figure this whole thing out.”
Sunday’s shooting comes a few months after a white supremacist unleashed terror at a church in Charleston, S.C., opening fire during a bible session and killing nine people. In July 2014, a church security guard fatally shot a man carrying an axe at the Citadel Praise of Church.