- A New York pastor was robbed at gunpoint during a livestreamed service.
- The assailants made off with more than $1 million worth of jewelry, according to the New York Times.
- The bishop is pushing back against criticism of his luxurious lifestyle after the attack.
A New York pastor who had $1 million worth of jewelry stolen from him and his family at gunpoint during a livestreamed service chided critics accusing him of having a “flashy” lifestyle, claiming the robbery was an example of how the “devil moves.”
Bishop Lamor Whitehead, known for his designer clothes and luxury cars, was delivering a sermon on Sunday at the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries church in Canarsie, New York, according to the New York Times,
In video footage of the church’s livestream obtained by WCBS, Whitehead can be heard delivering the message: “How many of you have lost your faith because you saw somebody else die?” He then abruptly stops, appearing to notice the armed gunmen make their way through the church’s doors.
Whitehead quickly lays on the ground in surrender as one of the assailants can be seen pointing a gun at his back and beginning to remove his jewelry. He told WCBS affiliate the suspects also pointed a gun at his wife and 8-month-old baby.
The suspects made off with over $1 million dollars of jewelry after taking his chains, watch, wedding band and cross, as well as jewelry from his wife, the NYPD said in a statement to Insider.
He also told WCBS that the suspects may have known about additional jewelry beneath his clothes from watching his prior videos.
“I had chains underneath my robe, and he start tapping my neck to see if (there was) anything else — so that means they knew, they watched and they knew that I have other jewelry,” he said.
The suspects are still at large. The NYPD told Insider in a statement that the suspects “entered a white Mercedes Benz and were last seen traveling eastbound on Avenue D,” and that no one was injured during the robbery.
After the attack, Whitehead said in an Instagram post that the robbery was an example of “how the devil moves.”
“The devil don’t care; he sent them,” Whitehead said, adding that he didn’t know if the robbers were initially there to steal from him or shoot at congregants.
In the aftermath of the attack, Whitehead also pushed back against criticism of his “flashy” lifestyle and cache of jewelry and cars in the Instagram post.
“It’s about me purchasing what I want to purchase,” Whitehead said in the video. “It’s my prerogative to purchase what I want to purchase if I worked hard for it.”
Whitehead’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.