A murder investigation has been launched after a young pastor “with great potential” was shot and killed while preaching.
Three other congregants were wounded when armed men stormed the church in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday night.
Pastor Dwayne Gordon, 22, was visiting the church in Newlands for a special conference and was preaching, while being filmed, when the shooting took place.
The footage, which is circulating on social media, shows two smartly dressed teenage boys playing instruments behind him, looking stunned as the events unfold. Shouting and gunshots can be heard.
Gordon, who many had called a "prophet", was visiting Eagle Christian Center when the six men broke in, also robbing church members of mobile phones and other valuables at gunpoint.
The Newlands area has made headlines in recent weeks and months following a spate of gang-related violence.
A pastor who lives nearby was interviewed by local reporters and described how he heard gunhsots but was unsure what it was, before seeing tall men in caps exit the building as calmly as if they’d just been visitors.
He called for a greater police presence in the area, saying: “We can’t live like this”. There was a similar shooting two weeks ago at a nearby tavern.
Bishop Dulton Adams of the African Christian Democratic Party told reporters: “It is a very tragic thing that happened on Friday night. We continue to share our deepest condolences with the family and the church community. This has come to us as a great shock that evil does, will come into the house of worship and do this heinous crime by shooting the pastor while he is still preaching. Pastor Gordon was a young man with great potential”.
Bishop Randal Coetzee, who told Eyewitness News website he was seated directly next to Gordon at the time he was shot, said: "When they came in, they took out their guns, cocked it - put one in the chamber. He shot at the camera, that’s why the camera fell. So that was one of the first shots that went off. The second guy walked in, he had a black cap on, he lifted his hand and shot in the air. One went into the wall and one into the roof."
Police are appealing for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.