The family of Deante Smith is looking for answers after the 25-year-old was gunned down by his pastor in an alleged confrontation about an affair the pastor had with his wife.
The shooting occurred at the City of God church in Detroit, MI on Sunday, according to Fox 2 Detroit. Smith, a player for the Michigan Lightning semi-pro football team, confronted Keon Allison, 36, after discovering the pastor was having a reported affair with his wife.
Witnesses claim Smith threatened to kill everyone in the church and attacked the pastor with a brick. Allison then pulled out his gun and fired four to five shots at Smith. Smith was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Pastor Allison was taken in for questioning on Sunday and was released from police custody the same evening.
Smith’s family and friends paid tribute to him in a candlelight memorial earlier this week.
Friends believe Smith’s actions were out of character, and said he always encouraged them to attend church.
“I know the event that happened Sunday could have been prevented, and my friend’s dead and we got the pastor I looked up to as being pointed at,” says Smith’s friend, Jamie Warfield.
“That’s not like my friend, not like the Deante I [saw]. He never acted like that around me. He was always a good person, smiling, asking me to come back to church,” Warfield says.
Smith’s aunt, Darcel Ward, spoke with The Christian Post about the allegations and the pastor’s relationship with her nephew. Ward said the pastor acted as a father towards Smith and even housed the athlete and his wife for a short time.
The Christian Post reports:
“He knows the Scripture so good. He is a very loving little boy. He’s only 25 years old. His birthday just passed Sept. 12. He was not a bad kid. I know when he came to my house he told me everything. He said the pastor was sleeping with his wife,” she said.
Ward said her nephew confided in her that the pastor’s wife told him her husband was sleeping with his wife, and his whole family encouraged him to get a divorce but he struggled because of his feelings for his wife and his faith. Ward said her nephew told her that his wife had a miscarriage and it was shortly after his wife’s miscarriage that he learned she had been unfaithful. (Another version of the story is that Smith’s wife allegedly had an abortion, which was paid for by the pastor).
“Deante got a knock on his door from the pastor’s wife coming to tell him that her husband had sexual affairs with his wife. That’s how he found out,” said Ward, who added that his mind was not the same afterwards.
The site reports Smith revealed the affair on Facebook last month.
Police told reporters the case is still ongoing and a prosecutor will determine if Allison will face any charges.
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