After a man wearing a camouflage helmet, camo pants, a tactical vest, boots and wielding a gun entered the Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Bullard, Texas, Pastor John Johnson, 45, is speaking out about the encounter.
Rasheed Abdul Aziz, 44, was arrested following the encounter with the pastor around 1 p.m. on Sept. 13. Before that, he had asked one of the church's deacons where he could find the pastor, saying that he wanted to pray, reported TheBlaze.
According to Johnson, Aziz appeared to be distressed and told him that God had ordered him to “slay infidels.”
“He said people are going to die today, that's what he said to me,” Johnson told KLTV. He says Aziz entered the church through the side door and ended up in the conference room with everyone else.
“Every hair on my neck just stood up,” Johnson said. “It was almost like you could just like feel the presence of just negative energy.”
The conversation between the two only lasted about five minutes. At that point, Aziz reportedly told Johnson that he was representing Allah, who had sanctioned him to slay people. During the conversation, Johnson said he noticed that Aziz had a pistol in his waistband.
“Immediately my mind went to the fact that I knew we had several children and young members that were playing and running in the fellowship hall, I mouthed to them, this man has a weapon, I need you guys to go,” said Johnson.
Johnson believed that the only way to prevent Aziz from murdering the churchgoers was to calm him. “I believe that his intent was when he came to our church was to actually kill somebody,” Johnson said.
Johnson works full-time with troubled students as an intervention specialist at a school nearby. He used to be a parole officer has training in crisis prevention, verbal de-escalation, and working with the mentally ill.
Johnson told Aziz to sit down and offered him a cool drink, telling him that he would pray for him. As he exited the conference hall, he told his wife and another churchgoer that Aziz was armed. They left.
But as a church member dialed 911, Aziz also made his exit. He was arrested later taken to Smith County Jail.
The next day, the deacon discovered a note Aziz left a note thanking the church and saying that the house was blessed by God and all faiths.