- A Jamaican pastor accused of being involved in human sacrifices died in a police car accident while being brought to face charges in court.
- Kevin Smith described himself as a prophet akin to Jonah from the Bible, and made his followers kneel before him.
- His death comes after reports surfaced of his church engaging in ritual killings and a deadly shootout with police.
- For more stories visit Business Insider.
A Jamaican pastor whom authorities accused of being involved in human sacrifice has died in a police car accident, local police said Monday.
Kevin Smith, the leader of Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries, died while being transported from Montego Bay to Kingston to face charges connected with several ritual killings, reported local news outlet Jamaica Observer.
Police were moving Smith and another suspect in two cars, one of which overturned - killing Smith and a police officer while seriously injuring two more officers, said spokesperson Senior Superintendent of Police Stephanie Lindsay to the Observer.
Authorities still aren't sure exactly what happened, said Lindsay.
"One vehicle was the pilot, and the other vehicle was behind. 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," she said.
Killing rituals, shootouts, and prophetic claims
Smith's death is the latest in a recent string of violent and dramatic events surrounding Pathways International.
On October 17, police arrived at the organisation's Montego Bay church after receiving reports from a member saying she had been stabbed as part of a ritual, per news outlet Jamaica Loop.
A deadly shootout ensued and one man was shot and killed, reported Jamaica Loop.
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 if it was used to record the killings, reported Jamaica Loop.
"It was very intense," said one church member while describing the murders to the Observer. "When I saw blood and the young lady fell, I said: 'This is it for me.'" She and several other church members fled the area after witnessing the violence, she said.
Police arrested 42 members of the congregation, including Smith, though most were later released.
The detained pastor was later seen in a widely-circulated video speaking to police officers, who laughed at his religious claims.
"I am the fountain of life... I came as Jonah the warner, but they mocked and they scoffed at me. They surrounded me and looked at me and said, 'Who is this man?'" he said in the clip.
A pamphlet for Pathways International addressed Smith as "former crown Ambassador of the Throne of Nubia Sheba, globe traveler to over 100 countries worldwide and Yeshu'a Hamashiach end time Prophet to the Nations," according to The Daily Beast.
He made his followers call him "Crown Bishop," and kneel before him whenever they spoke to him, per The Daily Beast.
Members of the church said they were shocked by the murder charges, 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.
Even after official confirmation of Smith's death, some of them told the Observer they think he's still alive.
"I do not believe anything the media publish about him, not even that he is dead," one member told the news outlet.
"But if he is, he didn't die in that car accident. He was dead before," she said.