EUCLID, Ohio — A robber in Ohio returned the wallet and cell phone that he forcefully took from another man after the victim began praying for the robber out loud and invited him to church.
Shaquille Hairston, 21, of Euclid told reporters this week that after he took a bus home in the middle of the night on June 3, a man who had been riding with him stopped him and pulled out a gun.
Hairston had finished work at a local hotel and was walking the remainder of the way home after exiting the bus when the incident occurred.
He said ‘Hey bruh,’ and I turned around and he pulled out a gun and said, ‘Gimme everything you got,” he told Cleveland’s Fox 8 News.
When Hairston replied that he didn’t have much money on him, the gunman struck him in the head with the gun and threatened to shoot.
“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,’” he recalled.
Hairston then handed over his wallet and his cell phone and began praying—out loud.
“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,” he said.
He began praying for the gunman as well, and also for his family, and started a conversation with the man. The robber became flustered and told Hairston that it was his first robbery and that he was doing so because he was unemployed.
“I’m just trying to make it out here like you,” Hairston replied.
He invited the man to his church and offered to help him in any way possible.
After a few minutes, the man gave Hairston back his wallet and cell phone and apologized.
“I’m so sorry for this,” the robber stated. “You were the wrong type of person to do this to.'”
He said, ‘Man, you’re 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,” Hairston also recalled.
Police are still looking for the yet unidentified suspect, who left behind a tube of lip balm at the scene.
Hairston says that he forgives the man.
“This happened for a reason,” he told reporters.
Hairston also stated that if he were to talk to the man again, he would tell him that God was with them both that night.
“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 has to do that,” he said.