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Read & React: Indiana Pastor Pulls Gun on Robber

by G&A Online Editors   |  October 21st, 2013 20

A little faith in the Lord goes a long way when faced with a potentially deadly situation, and that faith came in handy for one man of God.

According to WFIE-TV in Evansville, Ind., the Rev. Carl Sanders thwarted a robbery attempt at a local Dollar General by drawing his own weapon and ordering the man to the ground.

Check out the video from WFIE-TV.

14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Evansville Police say 25-year-old Jermaine Dewayne Marshall walked into an Evansville Dollar General on Friday night with a bandana over his face and and unknown object wrapped in plastic in his hand, and demanded the clerk empty the register.

“Marshall tells the individual again to open the register and points this object he’s trying to pass off as a firearm at the employee,” Evansville Police Department Capt. Andy Chandler told NBC News, adding Marshall struck the employee several times after a second refusal.

Marshall then approached Sanders—who has a permit to carry and had just walked in to get a soft drink—and ordered him to the ground.

“He was telling me to get on the ground,” Sanders said.

At that point, Sanders decided it was time for a little divine intervention.

“That’s when I pulled my weapon and say, ‘No, you get on the ground,'” Sanders said.

Sanders told Marshall not to move, to put his face on the ground and not even look up, then called police while keeping Marshall covered. Police responded and arrested Marshall without incident. Oh, and the “weapon” Marshall assaulted the clerk with? A spoon wrapped in a plastic bag. Very threatening, if your victims are ice cream.

While some may have pulled the trigger on Marshall, Sanders told reporters he didn’t want to injure or kill the would-be robber.

“He didn’t deserve to be hurt,” said Sanders. “I wanted him to know you can’t do this.”

At any rate, Sanders is being hailed as a hero by many, and for good reason; he kept his cool in what appeared to be a very threatening situation, and was able to gain control calmly and without incident until police arrived to haul the suspect away. For that, we—and no doubt the clerk—say, “Hallelujah!”

What do you think? Would you have been able to keep your cool in this situation?

  • ricklawrenson

    I think your opening line…the one about Girls Scouts and interior designers shows you need to get out more and stop making such jaded assumptions. You apparently would be surprised at how many pastors carry, and many on Sunday morning in the pulpit.

    • firetraq

      it was a comical piece… jeez. obviously girl scouts are never packing…

      • ricklawrenson

        Sorry. The inference is that pastors are somewhere between the effeminate and the feminine. Comical to some, but not to pastors, especially those who pack.

    • Packing Pastor

      4/5 pastors at my church are carrying every Sunday, including this one, and several are war vets so I think we are somewhere above the “girl scout” level.

      That article is extremely insulting to men who are called to protect flocks.

      • Packing Pastor

        (I didn’t mean that at Rick, but to the whole page and especially the author)

    • dylanpolk

      Apologies, guys. No offense was meant. That line has been removed nonetheless.

      Dylan Polk
      G&A Social Media Editor

  • hitechsailor

    Considering I shoot with several pastors, the opening line is lame.

    • John Mac

      As a disabled man I am,very offened by your use of the word lame.

  • Phil B

    Not sure how they roll in Indiana but this wouldn’t surprise me. A lot of the pastors I know pack heat and wouldn’t be afraid to use it if necessary. My former church before we moved out of town even sent about 10 people to a firearm course at Front Sight in Las Vegas so that they could conceal carry and act as security at church. Mind you, all these guys already packed at church but pastor just wanted some extra training to be sure they were all on the same page if something bad did happen.

  • Sarah

    Sheep Dogs. Pastors are here to protect and serve… just like police. Opening line is not accurate even if it’s meant as a joke.

  • Matt

    girl scouts and interior designers? You need to meet more pastors, girl scouts and interior designers dude. I’ve been at the range with one of each in the last six months strangely enough. One of the pastors was carl from the article. A very, very amazing man. Very Godly, humble, a servant and courageous.

  • misplaced country boy

    Even the shepherds have to fend off the wolves every now and then.

  • Bruce Anderson

    So the let me guess his next preachen will be a mix of

    Nehemiah 4:14-17. Those who carried burdens were loaded in
    such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his
    weapon with the other.

    Esther 8:11

    English Standard Version (ESV)
    11 saying that the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them

  • MichaelCarl

    It seems to me that it’s a prudent and appropriate step for clergymen to be certified for concealed carry. That’s not an admission of a lack of faith, that’s doing due diligence at being the shepherd of the flock.


      “If any man does not have a sword, let him sell his coat and buy one.”
      Jesus Christ

  • Sarah Weaver

    Well… if the spoon was plastic… and black… it might fall under the “assault weapon” category… Padre’s lucky to be alive!

  • MichaelCarl

    There are several social assumptions at work here and Dylan Polk was reflecting on those with his comments.

    The first is that pastors are supposed to be docile and passive. I know a British pastor who resisted conversion because of this perception of clergymen as ‘pansies.’ Then he met a skeet-shooting, rugby playing pastor who was a ‘real man,’ and he was converted and then entered the ministry.

    Meekness does not mean passive victim. Jesus was a tough guy. Remember that He was a carpenter in the days before power tools, etc.

    Second is that Christians in general are supposed to allow themselves to be exploited as victims. That too is not true.

    Someone commented on my response from yesterday by quoting the verse from Luke’s Upper Room account where Jesus tells His disciples if they didn’t have a sword to sell something, get the money, and buy one. For what reason would Jesus have told them this except that the disciples were to be able to protect themselves?

    • jamman55

      This is contradictory to scripture in every way. Jesus preached pacifism. Do good to them that persecute you. Love thine enemies. Offer they other cheek. The reason why Christians are pacifists is because of the mere fact that only the creator of life has authority to take it! Christianity and violence do not mix. Otherwise, you have a whole other religion. You might say, pansey, you might say we have a lack of “manhood” but the Lord has defined man and gave him purpose. “Those who seek to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake shall gain life eternal”

  • BJC

    Anyone at any time may need to protect themselves or others, just because you are religious doesn’t mean you are immune from thug’s. Thank you Pastor Sanders.

  • Mrbear_7

    I think the reverend did what most of us would do – defend his family and community.

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