By Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

A crocodile leaped from the water at a lake in Ethiopia, killing a pastor performing baptisms Sunday morning,

according to the BBC.

It happened during a ceremony at Lake Abaya in Merkeb Tabya District in southern Ethiopia.

Some 80 people had gathered for the baptisms, the BBC reported, when suddenly the large reptile attackedDocho Eshete, biting his legs, back and hands.

“He baptized the first person and he passed on to another one. All of a sudden, a crocodile jumped out (of) the lake and grabbed the pastor,” a witness told the BBC.

Eshete died from his injuries, despite the efforts of residents who tried to save him.

Residents used nets to bring his body to shore, but were unable to catch the croc, which escaped.

Crocodile leaps from water, kills pastor during baptism in lake

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