Florida Man is up to his outlandish shenanigans again. And this time it involves taking firearms to church!
Tuesday morning, Benjamin Parangan Jr. arrived to his maintenance job at the Living Water Fellowship in Kissimmee, FL to learn that his services would no longer be needed.
To say that he took the news badly would be a VAST understatement, since upon being informed of his dismissal by his supervisor, Pastor Terry L. Howell Sr., the 47-year old maintenance worker responded by opening fire on the preacher.
Perhaps it was an instance of “Divine Intervention,” or perhaps it was just some really shoddy marksmanship, but the 61-year old pastor managed to avoid being struck by any of his assailant’s bullets.
Which was bad news for Parangan, since this preacher was packing heat, too…
Then Jesus said to him, Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. — Matthew 26:52
Now, we all know that in the Bible, Jesus tells us all kinds of good stuff about turning the other cheek and loving your enemy. He tells us that those who live by the sword, will surely die by the sword. Even in the midst of being tortured to death by the Romans, he prayed for the forgiveness of the very people who were murdering him.
He didn’t start hurling lightning bolts at Pontius Pilate, nor did he start turning random centurions into lepers. So it’s a bit perplexing as to why a man of the cloth, a man of peace, came to find himself armed in this situation. Reports are unclear as to whether this is standard operating procedure at Howell’s church, or if God had appeared to him in a burning palm tree earlier that morning and instructed him to bring his gun with him to work.
But I say to you, that you resist not evil: but whoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. — Matthew 5:39
Regardless, it worked out pretty well for Howell that he just happened to be armed and able to return fire on the occasion that a disgruntled former worker opted to go postal on him. For Parangan, things haven’t worked out quite so well.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Parangan was listed in critical condition and his injuries were so severe that paramedics wanted to airlift him to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Due to weather complications, Parangan was instead transported via ambulance to the nearby Osceola Regional Medical Center. His condition was upgraded to stable by Tuesday evening.
Twis Lizasuain, spokeswoman for the Osceola Sheriff’s Department, informed the local media that Parangan is currently charged with aggravated assault with intent to kill, though further charges are pending. He is currently in police custody and will be booked into Osceola County Jail following his medical release. Both men were legally licensed to posses a concealed weapon and authorities are pursuing the case as a self-defense incident.
Howell declined comment on the shooting, aside from a statement released through the Office of the Sheriff:
We are in full support of the ongoing Osceola County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the traumatic incident that occurred at our church this morning. We will continue to cooperate with the investigators in every way that we can… Until the investigation is complete, we will not be making any public statements. Thank you for understanding. The members of our church will continue to pray for all those involved in this morning’s incident. We would ask all who read this release to do the same.