Local News

'I never once wanted to hit him,' said pistol-packing pastor who shot out tire on fleeing suspect's car

Posted December 3, 2017 4:20 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 9:55 a.m. EDT

— A pistol-packing pastor in Orange County stopped a suspect who broke into his church Thursday afternoon.

Pastor Austin Brown was alone in his office at Five Forks Baptist Church when he heard a noise coming from the church office. When he checked the once-empty parking lot, he said he saw a vehicle he didn’t recognize.

Brown made his way to where the noise was coming from and saw someone he didn’t know.

“At that point in time, I confronted him, pulled my weapon and asked him what he was doing here, at which time he proceeded to run,” Brown said.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office identified the person who broke in as Cory Bradshaw.

Brown said once Bradshaw started running, instincts kicked in.

“I asked him to stop, get on the ground. He did not do that, so I did fire one warning shot, away from the subject. I never once wanted to hit him,” Brown said.

Brown said Bradshaw got into his car, at which point he fired a second shot.

“The only way I knew to try and help keep him here was to shoot a hole in his tire, which I proceeded to do. He drove off and I called the police,” Brown said.

Hillsborough deputies spotted Bradshaw shortly after, trying to fix the flat tire, and arrested him. He was charged with felony breaking and entering and attempted larceny.

Brown said he’s glad the incident wasn’t worse and grateful for the concealed carry class he had recently taken.

“We just hope and pray it never happens again and we put our trust in the Lord,” he said.

Brown said Bradshaw reached out to the church through the sheriff’s office and apologized for the break-in. Brown said they have accepted his apology and are praying for him.