This Week in the 904: Bishop McKissick explains comments made at mass shooting memorial service

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — This week, Bethel Church Senior Pastor, Bishop Rudolph McKissick Jr., told Action News Jax’s John Bachman why he referred to Gov. Ron DeSantis as “demonic.”


His original statement made national news when he spoke during a memorial service for one of the victims of the racially motivated shooting in New Town.

Bachman spoke exclusively with McKissick about his comments and many other issues in the City of Jacksonville for Sunday’s edition of This Week in the 904.

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On Sept. 8, members of the Jacksonville community gathered to mourn the loss of Angela Carr. The 52-year-old was one of the three victims in the August racially-motivated mass shooting at a Dollar General in New Town.

Well-known Jacksonville faith leader Bishop Rudolph McKissick led the memorial service and made it very clear that he believed Florida Gov. DeSantis was partially responsible for the loss of three Black lives.

“A demonic governor whose hands are filled with the blood of three victims,” McKissick said during the service.

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Action News Jax asked McKissick in an interview about his description of the Governor. He provided some clarification to his definition of “demonic.”

McKissick said he believes someone, even a member of the clergy, can act demonically without being a demon.

“I’ve operated in demonic ways. [That’s] my definition. Remember, I’m a theologian, so my definition of demonic is any thinking or any actions that may occur that would not be in line with the philosophy of the God I serve,” he said.

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The Bishop made it clear he doesn’t think DeSantis is a demon.

“So, is he a demon? No. Have there been things that have been done or said that I feel demonic is a strong word, you know, that I feel were out of bounds? Yes,” McKissick said.

McKissick also said that he doesn’t know if DeSantis is a racist, but some of the Governor’s policies don’t make sense to him.

“We have a governor who’s not good at listening to the other side without being vengeful toward difference,” he said.

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While receiving heavy criticism in the aftermath of the Dollar General shooting, DeSantis denied anything he had said or done had anything to do with the behavior of the shooter, who he called a “madman.” Earlier this week, while visiting Jacksonville, he denounced those who are using the tragedy to push political agendas.

“This is something that I think was bad, not just for Jacksonville, but the whole state of Florida, and we want to speak in one voice on that. But don’t try to politicize. Don’t try to use your agenda on the back of tragedy,” DeSantis said.

>>You can watch Action News Jax’s John Bachman’s full interview with Bishop Rudolph McKissick Jr. in the videos below. “This Week in the 904″ airs on Sundays on CBS47 at 4:30 a.m. and then again at 6:30 a.m. The show also airs on FOX30 at 10 a.m.<<

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