EUCLID-- A 21-year-old man credits the power of prayer for saving his life after he is robbed at gunpoint while walking home from a bus stop after work.
"He stopped me. He said 'Aye bruh' and I turned around and he pulled out a gun and said ‘gimme everything you got," said Shaquille Hairston, of Euclid.
It was around 3:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, when Hairston had just gotten off a bus near East 185th Street and Lakeshore Boulevard at the Cleveland/Euclid border, after finishing his shift at a downtown Cleveland hotel. Hairston said a man who walked off the bus with him, followed him all the way to East 222nd Street in Euclid before demanding his wallet and cell phone.
"I told him, I was like, I don't have anything. I really don't have anything and he took the gun; he swung and he hit me in my head really hard and I had a bump right here on my head," he said.
According to a Euclid police report, the bus stop at East 185th is the closest stop to the victim's home at that time in the morning. He said he was close to home when the man robbed him.
"He raised the gun up and he was like 'I'll shoot you. I'm not playing with you, man.' I'm just like, so 'ok," said Hairston.
The victim said he handed over his wallet and phone, then began to pray out loud. He said he regularly attends New Direction Church of God in Christ in Cleveland.
"Because even if that was gonna be my last night living, I wanted to go out knowing that God was with me and I had God on my mind and if I did go, I would be with him when I wake up on the other side," said Hairston.
But he did not stop there. Hairston said he started praying for the robber and his family, and even invited him to his church, offering to help the gunman with whatever he might need. He said the man became so flustered about his praying, that the robber apologized, and returned his wallet and cell phone.
"He said ‘man, you're like really blessed’ 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," he recounted.
The police report indicates the suspect dropped some lip balm during the incident, which police recovered as evidence.
"My concern has been on him, and that God will touch his heart and tender his heart so he won't even feel that he have to do that," Hairston added.