A New York City bishop with a controversial past was robbed at gunpoint of more than $1 million worth of jewelry during a live-streamed church service, police confirmed.
Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead, the founder of Brooklyn-based Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries, and his wife were robbed at gunpoint during a live-streamed service, when three masked men could be seen barging in, according to police and images of the heist shared online.
Whitehead was in the midst of his service inside the Canarsie house of worship around 11:14 a.m. when the trio of unidentified masked men entered and flashed their guns, a New York Police Department (NYPD) spokesperson said.
They made off with an estimated $1 million worth of jewelry from Whitehead, 44, and his 38-year-old wife, the NYPD said. The suspects then left the building on foot and hopped into a white Mercedes-Benz, which then headed eastbound on Avenue D, police said.
Local affiliate FOX 5 New York shared video of the live-streamed attack, which was later removed from the ministry’s platforms.
The video shows the bishop say, “Alright, alright, alright,” as he is seen crouching to his hands and knees and then to the ground. Three masked, hooded men who are dressed in black then pass in front of the camera.
The stolen goods were valued at over $1 million and reportedly included a Rolex watch.
Whitehead announced on morning that he was offering a reward of up to $50,000 cash for the arrest of the armed men.
The bishop recalled the events in a video posted on Facebook, in which he described how one of the suspects “put the gun to my back” and “had the gun in my 8-month-old’s face.”
“They took my watch, took my jewelry, took my bishop’s ring, took my wedding band … They took my bishop’s cross, and then I had chains underneath my shirt,” he said.
Whitehead went on to describe how he knew the suspects “were sent,” and the gunman who robbed him “ripped my collar off just to get to my jewelry.”
“They pointed me out. They said, ‘It’s him, right there.’”
He said his family was okay and thanked the public for their concerns.
Whitehead noted his belief that the robbery could have been spurred in part by “bad press” in the aftermath of his decision to help Andrew Abdullah, 25. Abdullah was arrested in connection with the death of Daniel Enriquez, a 48-year-old Goldman Sachs employee.
Abdullah allegedly randomly shot Enriquez in an unprovoked attack inside a moving Q-train on May 22. He was charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon and pleaded not guilty.
The bishop also slammed those who thought he was “flashy.” He spoke about critics who were “going to be glad, because they feel that it’s flashy – ‘They show this. They show that,’” he said in the video. “And that’s alright. But I thank God for blessing me.”
Several of the bishop’s social media posts show pricey or expensive-looking clothing or jewelry.
Sometimes, when you are a known bishop, it’s a gift and a curse when you have somewhat of a known celebrity status,” he said earlier in the video. “The enemy has been attacking Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries for some time now.”
He said he had heard from “so many police chiefs and inspectors” after the attack, and thanked New York City Mayor Eric Adams for “reaching out to me, making sure I’m alright.”
“Those young men that have done this, I asked you to turn yourself in. I think that would be the best thing for you to do,” he went on. “Turn yourself in, because we know what you look like… We know that some of you changed your clothes.”
He added: “The gig is up