Western Journalism has published numerous stories of armed citizens able to defend themselves against an immediate threat. When 21-year-old Shaquille Hairston was confronted by a gun-toting robber on his way home earlier this month, however, he relied on a higher power to save his life.
The Euclid, Ohio, man exited a city bus early that morning, followed by a man who continued to trail him for several blocks. At one point, Hairston said the individual demanded his wallet and phone before assaulting him.
Hairston recalled telling the suspect that he didn’t have any valuables on him, at which point “he took the gun, he swung and he hit me in the head really hard – and I had a bump right here on my head.”
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The assailant threatened to shoot Hairston, he said, at which point he began to pray out loud – not only for his safety, but for his attacker.
He recalled his motivation in that moment, telling WJW that “even if it was going to be my last night living, I wanted to go out knowing that God was with me and I had God on my side – and if I did go, I would be with Him when I wake up on the other side.”
The approach worked so well, Hairston said the man not only returned his possessions but apologized for his actions.
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“He said, ‘Man, you’re really blessed,’” he recalled. “And I said, ‘No, you’re blessed,’ and I said, ‘I’ll be praying for you and your family. And then he was like, ‘OK,’ and he shook my hand and he went about his way.”
While police are looking for the suspect, Hairston said he is worried more about restoring his attacker’s soul than seeking retribution.
“My concern has been on him,” he said, “and that God will touch his heart and tender his hear so he won’t even feel that he has to do that.”
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