A pastor held in connection to suspected human sacrifices was killed in a police car crash on his way to be charged.
- Pastor Kevin Smith was detained over suspected human sacrifices
- He was on his way to be charged when the car crashed
- His church is believed to be involved in ritual killings
MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA—Jamaican cult leader Kevin Smith, who has been in custody since last Sunday after two of his followers were killed in a “human sacrifice” ritual, has died in a car crash, according to the Jamaica Loop
Kevin Smith, the leader of Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries, died while being transported from Montego Bay to Kingston to face charges connected to suspected ritual killings, the local news outlet Jamaica Observer reported.
As head of his Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries, Smith was arrested on Oct. 17 after police swooped down on his church in Montego Bay in response to a report that a human sacrifice was taking place in the church, where more than 100 followers had gathered, dressed in white robes.
The police were said to be moving Smith and another suspect in two cars, one of which overturned — killing Smith and a police officer while seriously injuring two more officers, a police representative told the Observer.
The representative, Stephanie Lindsay, the senior superintendent of police, said authorities still weren’t sure exactly what happened.
“One vehicle was the pilot, and the other vehicle was behind,” she said. “The vehicle that was behind, based on the account given by the pilot vehicle, there was a crashing sound, and they realized that the vehicle overturned.”
According to survivors who spoke to local Jamaican media outlets, the ritual involved senior members of the church “stabbing” and “slashing” several congregants who were told they’d be embarking on a “heavenly journey.” Two of the church members were killed over the course of the ritual, and one was killed during the police raid on the property.
“When I saw blood and the young lady fell, I said ‘This is it for me,’” one member who managed to escape the church told the Jamaican Observer.
A Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries pamphlet obtained by The Daily Beast introduced Smith as “former crown Ambassador of the Throne of Nubia Sheba, globe traveller to over 100 countries worldwide and Yeshu’a Hamashiach end time Prophet to the Nations.”
According to the Jamaican Loop, on October 17, the police arrived at the organization’s Montego Bay church after receiving reports from a member saying she had been stabbed as part of a ritual.
A deadly shootout ensued and one man was fatally shot, Jamaica Loop reported, citing authorities.
The police later entered the church building and found two bodies, per Jamaica Loop — a man with gunshot wounds and a woman whose throat had been slashed. They also found a wounded man who said he was stabbed and shot in connection to a ritual.
A camera was in the room, but it’s unclear whether it was used to record the killings, Jamaica Loop reported.
The Observer interviewed an unnamed woman — identified as a church member — who said she’d witnessed the woman’s throat being slashed.
“It was very intense,” the woman said. “When I saw blood and the young lady fell, I said: ‘This is it for me.'” She said she and several other church members fled the area after witnessing the violence.
The police arrested 42 members of the congregation, including Smith, though most were later released.
A video of Smith in which he proclaims “I’m the fountain of life” was published online and seen by many.
Members of the church said they were shocked by the murder claims, describing Pathways International as “a regular church,” per the Observer. Soon after Smith’s arrest, congregants set up a GoFundMe page for his legal fees, calling Smith “His Excellency Kevin Smith 999,” though it now appears to have been taken down.