Police Arrest Man Who They Say Forcefully Entered Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville During Day School

The Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) announced that a man has been arrested after hopping a playground fence and forcefully entering Belmont United Methodist Church as a day school was in session at 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

According to a press release by MNPD, Damian Rucker, 39, jumped the fence on Acklen Avenue as three classes of students were on the church’s playground. Rucker then gained entry to the building as two persons opened a door to come outside.

Rucker was unable to enter the day school hallway where other students were in class, due to special locking mechanisms, MNPD notes.

MNPD officers were dispatched to the church after receiving a call that an active aggressor had entered the building.

Within minutes, according to MNPD, officers and detectives from the Midtown Hills Precinct, some of whom were first on the scene at The Covenant School in March, rushed into the building, and began clearing it.

MNPD officers and detectives found Rucker in a third floor room and tackled him shortly after he started to run.

While Rucker carried no weapons or harmful items at the time of the incident, he was reported to make criminalizing statements while in custody, including, “God sent me here to rid the children of evil by blowing this place up and all places of worship to rid children of evil.”

Rucker, MNPD notes, is being charged with making a threat of mass violence in a school, aggravated criminal trespassing, and making a false report of an emergency. A judicial commissioner set Rucker’s bond at $80,000.

Pastor Paul Purdue at Belmont United Methodist Church released a statement following the incident, praising MNPD for its “peace-giving, courageous, and professional behavior” while securing and responding to the scene.

“I was overwhelmed by the peace-giving, courageous, and professional behavior of the Metro Nashville Police Department officers, Pastor Purdue stated. “Three years ago, MNPD had promised that they would show up and immediately enter the building and that is exactly what they did.”

“Once the scene was secure, the officers’ humanity was on display as one of them helped lead the older preschoolers in singing “Baby Shark” and other songs. As one of the parents picked up backpacks later in the day, they shared how their child was so excited to see all the police and get a sticker badge. Somehow, children remind us there is always room for faith, hope, and love,” Pastor Purdue added.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Image “Damian Rucker” by Metro Nashville Police Department.



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2 Thoughts to “Police Arrest Man Who They Say Forcefully Entered Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville During Day School”

  1. Ron W

    Steve Allen, It goes back all down through history:

    Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people and therefore deprive them of their arms.” —Aristotle (384 BC—322 BC)

    It’s an aspect of “wickedness in high places”.

  2. Steve Allen

    Am I the only one noticing this….. why are there so many people of color (mostly male) that are committing violent crime since the chinese virus? Especially with firearms. And because of this, the democrats want to disarm the majority of law abiding Americans.