Parishioners jumped on church gunman

| September 19, 2011

LAKELAND – At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, Derrick Foster is a solid man. But it wasn't just his physical strength that allowed him to corral a gunman at the Greater Faith Christian Center Church in Lakeland — it was also his mental state.

Foster said everyone ran from the church as the first gunshot rang out. They were in the middle of prayer services at the church.

Foster had his head down in prayer when he heard a pop, and then a scream. He looked up to see a gunman standing over Pastor William Boss, who had just been shot in the head.

Foster jumped up on the stage, going towards the shooter.

"I came from rear of the gunman and right before I jumped on him, he shoots Minister Stuart in the chest. He falls to the ground," Foster recalled. "Just before I jumped, the gunman looked at me and extended his arm to shoot me. I jumped on him and we rolled for three or four minutes."

Foster's only intent was to get the gun away.

"If I hadn't taken the gun, he could have killed more people. There was no room for error."

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Category: Church Security

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