Authorities: Man dead after disturbance at Church in Hamilton County

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Updated: 6/30 10:24 am
DIAN LAKE, N.Y. – According to State Police one man is dead after an incident at a Hamilton County church.

On Friday around 4:45 p.m., State Police say they responded to a report of shots fired at St. Mary's Church on State Route 28N.

Troopers and Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputies arrived on scene and determined that no shots had fired in the church and that the suspect was unresponsive.

An investigation revealed that during the church service, Jason Berg, 44, entered the church and started creating a disturbance by shouting obscenities and throwing objects at parishioners.

Pastor Philip Allen said he was about to end service when Berg entered. He says the man began walking down the aisle, yelling obscenities, and scaring the congregation.

Once reaching the end of the aisle, Berg violently threw all materials off of the alter. One of the items Berg threw was a pair candle sticks. One candle stick hit a man in the head, which caused a laceration that needed stitches. The second candle stick hit a woman in her temple.

Berg was allegedly armed with a loaded .45 caliber pistol, a spare magazine, several rounds of ammunition and a pocket knife. According to authorities, Berg violently resisted while he was being subdued and disarmed by parishioners. Police say it is then when the man became unresponsive.

Responding patrols requested Indian Lake Volunteer Ambulance Corps and administered CPR.

State Police say responders were unable to revive Berg and he was pronounced dead at the scene by Hamilton County Coroner. Berg's body was removed and an autopsy has been scheduled for Monday at Albany Medical Center.

According to authorities, two of the parishioners attending the service were injured by Berg when he was throwing items. They were both transported to Glens Falls Hospital by ambulance where they were treated for the injuries. They have since been released.

Several parishioners reported hearing what sounded like muffled gunshots coming from outside the church prior to the incident. Police say they searched the scene, but that there was no evidence of gunshots in the area.

The incident remains under investigation.
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