Congregation mourns pastor murdered by neighbor

Pastor Nick Davi
Pastor Nick Davi | Grace Point Church

In North Las Vegas, Nevada, the Grace Point Church community is mourning the tragic loss of Pastor Nick Davi, who was murdered by his neighbor last month. As they prepare for his memorial service scheduled for next week, an expected attendance of 1,000 people reflects the profound impact of his passing.

Pastor Ty Neal of Grace Point Church shared his deep sorrow during a recent service. “We lost a brother. We lost a pastor, and we lost a friend,” he told the congregation. “It doesn’t feel real. It just feels like this is a bad dream in which we will wake up to and Nick will be there.”

Neal spoke about the perplexities of faith, addressing what appears to be contradictions between God’s love and compassion and the suffering of good people, and alluding to Davi’s passing.

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The fatal shooting occurred on Dec. 29 inside the gated Courts at Aliante community. The pastor described the assailant as a neighbor who had been causing distress to Davi and his family, leading them to temporarily leave their home. They were in the process of retrieving belongings when the incident occurred.

Speaking to Fox 5, Neal, who lives in the same community, said, “When you put a violent act like this in the same sentence with Nick, your mind just can’t process that. … I heard pops and it is normal to hear fireworks, car backfire, sometimes gunshots, it is normal. You don’t think much about it.” 

Joe Junio, 36, the accused, was arrested at the scene. The dispute between Junio and the Davi family had been ongoing, with reports to the homeowners' association about Junio’s disruptive behavior, including throwing rocks and feces onto the Davi family's property. The situation had escalated over several months, ultimately leading to this tragic outcome.

Sarah Davi, Nick’s wife, survived the attack. Displaying remarkable courage, she managed to disarm the shooter, an act her son likened to a “grizzly bear, momma,” according to Review-Journal.

The memorial service for Davi is scheduled for Jan. 15 at Grace Point Church. Over 1,000 attendees are expected, Fox 5 said. The service will also be broadcast live on the church’s YouTube channel, allowing those unable to attend in person to participate in honoring Davi’s memory, the church announced on Facebook.

Speaking to the congregation, Neal recalled Davi’s significant role in the church, highlighting his journey from Mississippi to Nevada in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. Davi, a marine biologist with a passion for helping animals and people, was among the first members of the church.

Junio faces multiple charges, including murder, attempted murder, and child abuse involving a gun. The nature of the disagreement that led to such a violent conclusion remains a concern for the community.

Pastor Davi’s contributions to the community extended beyond his church duties. His career in marine biology saw him working at prominent public aquariums in Florida, Mississippi and Nevada. In 2014, he transitioned to a role in church operations, overseeing the 30,000-square-foot facility at Grace Point Church.

This incident has also raised serious concerns among local residents about the recent uptick in violence. The Courts at Aliante community, typically described as peaceful, is now grappling with the aftermath of this shocking event.

A native of eastern Long Island, New York, Pastor Davi graduated from Riverhead High School and later earned a B.S. in marine science and biology from the University of Tampa. His transition to pastoral work marked a significant shift in his life, dedicating himself to the service of his congregation and community.

In response to the tragedy, Grace Point Church has asked its congregation for prayers for the Davi family. A GoFundMe campaign has been established to assist the Davi family during this difficult period.

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