Pastor stops gunman in packed church wanting to do something bad and asks 'Can I help you?'

Larry Wright was in the middle of an anti-violence sermon

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The Independent US

A US pastor confronted an armed man with a semi-automatic assault rifle who walked into his church and persuaded him to hand over his weapon after asking "Can I help you?"

Larry Wright, from Fayetteville, North Carolina was giving an anti-violence sermon at Heal the Land Outreach Ministries to 60 people when a man in his 20s walked into his church holding a rifle.

The retired Army sergeant, 57, walked over to the individual and asked: “Can I help you?”

After calming him down, he took away his weapon and prayed for the man before police officers arrived, the Fayetteville Observer reported.  

"I finished the message, I did the altar call and he stood right up, came up to the altar, and gave his life to Christ," Mr Wright told CNN. "I came down and prayed with him and we embraced. It was like a father embracing a son."

The man reportedly apologised to the congregation. He reportedly said that he had been told to go to church before he did something bad.

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He was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Centre at his request, the Observer reported.