WAXHAW, N.C. — State police are investigating after a man armed with a knife was shot by deputies following a disturbance call outside a Union County church.
It happened just before 10:30 a.m. Sunday along New Town Road, outside Oak Grove Baptist Church in Waxhaw.
Union County sheriff’s deputies said Christopher Ross, 54, is facing charges of disorderly conduct for interfering with a church service, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon against law enforcement officers and resist, delay and obstructing an officer.
Deputies responded to the church after getting reports of Ross interrupting an outdoor church service and cursing at church members.
Officials said a worshiper who knew Ross walked toward him to try and calm him down. That’s when Ross allegedly picked up rocks and thew them at the worshiper.
“I couldn’t really hear what the words were, but the gentleman had come to the edge of his driveway. Was yelling and very belligerent," said Pastor Rich Myers.
When deputies got to the area, they were directed to a house across from the church and encountered Ross, who was armed with a knife. After a struggle, deputies used a Taser in order to try to take him into custody but Ross continued to fight.
Officials said eventually, a deputy shot Ross after he reportedly came toward him with the knife. He was taken to a hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.
“We bear him no ill will. We don’t wish any hardship on him at all. It could’ve been a lot worse, but there was divine intervention. There’s a big comfort in that," said Myers.
The sheriff’s office said the two deputies involved were also treated by EMS.
“I don’t know that there was any significant injury to either officer. I know they were both physically exhausted. Probably both scratched and bruised,” said Tony Underwood, Union County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting, which is standard protocol, and the Union County Sheriff’s Office will perform a separate investigation.
Earlier in May, deputies got a call about Ross yelling at church members during service. At that time, officials said worshipers would periodically blow car horns during portions of a prayer service. The church said it stopped blowing car horns to try and help the situation.
Authorities said the church still used a public address system and believes that might have provoked Ross during Sunday’s incident.
No other information has been released.
This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for more information.
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