North Texas

Fort Worth Pastor, Drummer Narrowly Miss Being Hit by Stray Bullet on NYE

A pastor and a musician narrowly escaped injury after someone decided to ring in the New Year with gunfire.

It happened when a stray bullet interrupted service at Ramp Church on the southeast side of Fort Worth.

Police responded to 63 'shots fired' calls overnight, many believed to be celebratory gunfire.

But as they say, what goes up must come down. And in this case, it came down on unsuspecting people gathered in prayer.

"I was speechless," said Pastor Evan Risher. "I was scared."

Faith can sometimes be shaken, but Risher’s faith is steadfast because of the bullet he now holds in his hands.

"It shook me, but it didn’t break me," he said. "There has to be another way to have fun, to bring in the New Year."

Risher was in the middle of 'watch night' service to ring in 2019, when at around 11:40 p.m. he heard something.

"It sounded almost like a whirlwind," he said pointing to the ceiling.

Armed security guards rushed him off the stage. The congregation was stunned and confused.

"When they rushed me off the stage and checked the premises they found this bullet on the stage," said Risher.

An apparent stray bullet, a .40 caliber, pierced through the roof.

"It hit right here about two feet behind where I was and about two feet in front of our drummer," he said.

Fort Worth police were called to investigate, but it is unclear where the shot came from.

Bullet in hand, Risher kept preaching.

The congregation, about 300 people in attendance, broke into a celebration grateful no one had been hurt.

"It's kind of ironic to call a moment like this a special moment," said Risher.

But it was, he said.

Especially given that this was on their second service since moving into the building in the Echo Heights, Forest Hills area.

"I believe wholeheartedly that God called us to this area of Fort Worth," he said.

Risher said he’ll keep the bullet in his office from now on.

"And whenever I’m ever having a day where I’m feeling ungrateful," he said. "I’m going to remember the value of life."

Risher said he will consider whether to move their 'watch night' service next year to an earlier hour to try to avoid any possible problems around midnight, as other North Texas churches have done.

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