Knife-wielding man shot by deputy following disturbance outside Union Co. church

Updated: May. 24, 2020 at 7:03 PM EDT
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UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A man armed with a knife was shot by a Union County Sheriff’s deputy after he reportedly interrupted an outdoor church service by cursing at the congregation.

The incident occurred outside the Oak Grove Baptist Church on the 4000 block of New Town Road near Waxhaw.

Christopher Eugene Ross, 54, from Monroe. faces charges of Disorderly Conduct for interfering with the church service, two counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon against Law Enforcement Officers and Resist, Delay and Obstructing an Officer.

Deputies say Ross started cursing at church members around 10:25 a.m. Sunday.

One of the worshipers who familiar with Ross walked toward him in hopes of talking with him to calm him down, according to deputies.

Christopher Eugene Ross
Christopher Eugene Ross(WBTV)

Ross allegedly picked up rocks and threw them toward the worshiper before officers were called.

Officers were directed toward a house on the same street across from the church.

There, they found a white man in his 50s armed with a knife.

Man Armed with Knife Shot By UCSO Deputy Following Disturbance Call An outdoor church service outside Oak Grove...

Posted by Union County Sheriff's Office, Monroe, NC on Sunday, May 24, 2020

Officers tased the man following a struggle in an attempt to take him into custody.

Deputies say Ross was armed with a knife, fought with the deputy and actively resisted arrest.

The deputy deployed his Taser but Ross continued to fight and resist arrest.

Officers say that a second deputy showed up but the struggle continued while Ross remained armed.

The second deputy fired his gun and struck Ross at least two times -- in the arm and in the leg.

Ross continued fighting until a third deputy arrived and he was eventually taken into custody.

Ross was taken by ambulance to Atrium Health for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. He will be transported to the Union County Jail upon discharge.

Two deputies are also being treated by paramedics. Their injuries are not believed to be serious.

Deputies are trying to find out if the man had a problem with the church or church members.

The State Bureau of Investigation will investigate the shooting and the Union County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a separate internal affairs investigation to ensure proper protocols were being followed.

Earlier this month, deputies received a call from Oak Grove Baptist Church reporting concerning behavior after Ross was heard yelling at church members during a service.

Deputies said that at that time, worshipers were periodically blowing car horns during portions of a prayer service. The church discontinued the practice of blowing car horns during services hoping to diffuse the situation.

However, officers said, the services have continued to occur with the benefit of a public address system, likely prompting Ross to interfere with Sunday’s service.

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