‘I forgive him:’ Georgia pastor reacts after being shot by cousin over heaven and hell conversation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Georgia pastor spoke out about being shot by his cousin after a funeral his family arranged took place several weeks ago in Jacksonville.

According to an arrest report our sister station, Action News Jax, obtained from JSO, it states that a religious conversation was being held between McGauley and his cousin, Keshawn Nesmith, regarding “heaven and hell.”

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McGauley says he had no idea after starting that conversation that he would be shot.

“For one, I hate that it happened,” says McGauley.

According to the report, McGauley was shot on Jan. 7 by Nesmith on Melson Avenue, after a family funeral.

“I know he wasn’t in the right frame of mind at the time,” says McGauley.

The report says things turned violent during a conversation about heaven and hell.

McGauley says he told Nesmith they could have the conversation another time, even trying to change the topic to football, but he says Nesmith continued.


After a family member asked Nesmith to leave, McGauley says the unthinkable happened.

“As I was approaching him. I see him reach behind his back and that’s when I asked, you got a gun on you? He was like if you come any closer, I’m going to shoot you,” says McGauley.

McGauley says he then heard two pops. Leaving him with so many questions.

“I couldn’t understand why would you have a gun and it’s nothing but family, we went to a funeral,” says McGauley.

Nesmith is now facing several charges, including attempted murder.

McGauley says he’s not angry about what his cousin is accused of.

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“I forgive him for two reasons, for one that’s my cousin and the other reason I’m a man of God,” says McGauley.

Since Nesmith and McGauley are related, I asked him what justice he wants to see his cousin’s face after shooting him.

“What happens to him, is between him and God, we all have to be responsible for our actions,” says McGauley.

Now McGauley is recovering from injuries to his leg and hip.

“Right now, I currently can’t use my left leg for at least a minimum of three months and my healing process will take up to nine months,” says McGauley.

According to records, Nesmith’s next court appearance is tomorrow, Jan. 19, at 9 a.m.

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