Deputies and a youth pastor intervened Saturday when a man took a shotgun into an empty church, saying he’d planned to end his life and wanting help. The 35-year-old man has been placed in a mental health facility, Sheriff Vance Hill said.
    Deputies arrived at May Baptist Church to find the man in the sanctuary with the church’s youth pastor. Deputies arrested the man for possessing a small amount of marijuana but referred him to mental health workers, a report by deputy Scotty Burke states.
    Deputies recovered the shotgun from the church, as well as two long guns from the man’s vehicle.
    According to Burke’s report:
    Dispatch received a call from a person with a gun at the church at 11:46 a.m. Burke and deputy Jose Rodriguez entered the church and encountered the man, who was upset and distraught, and the youth pastor in the sanctuary.
    Burke was able to calm the man down. He told the deputies he’d gotten into a fight with his wife that morning and “thought he just couldn’t take it any more,” Burke’s report states.
    The man said he retrieved firearms and ammunition from his parents’ home, entered the church with the shotgun and planned to end his life. The man later told deputies he didn’t know what he was going to do with the shotgun but said he knew he wanted help and didn’t know where else to turn.
    The man left the church and went to the youth pastor’s home, saying he needed to talk. The youth pastor accompanied the man back to the church and they went inside, where the youth pastor saw the shotgun on a pew and was able to call 9-1-1. The youth pastor said the man never threatened him with the shotgun or attempted any violence.
    The man was released to jail staff with instructions to contact MHMR, Burke’s report states.