It was just an ordinary Sunday service at the Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Greektown, until Pastor Efrem Leakemariam heard screams coming from the back of the church.
He noticed a parishioner start to fall, and another man running towards the back of the church to the exit. The man running was tackled by other parishioners, and it was then that Leakemariam noticed the blood coming from the victim’s chest.
“When I saw the young man falling, I thought he was fainting, but when I came closer I saw the blood coming from his chest,” Leakemariam said. “I saw the knife. I called 911.”
The police arrived at the scene at approximately 4:30 pm on Sunday, and found the 25-year-old, identified as Tyrone Darling, badly bleeding from four stab wounds. Surprisingly, the first thing that Tyrone asked was if his attacker was okay.
Now, picture this… you have just been stabbed four times and all you want to know is if the person that did this to you is okay? Seems a bit far fetched for most, but not for Tyrone.
“He is very dedicated and is the drummer for the worship team,” Leakemariam said. “I spoke with Tyrone this morning. His first question was, ‘Is the attacker all right?’ It’s reflective in the line of the gospel — love your enemy. He’s talking and even the doctors say this is a miracle and one wound was a millimetre away from the heart.”
Tyrone is currently recovering at St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto, and his mother was said to have been flying in to be with him.
Tyrone’s attacker has been identified as 18-year-old Yonatan Tesfaldet. He was arrested and will be facing charges of “attempted murder, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon dangerous to public peace.” Leakermarian said that he had seen him around before, and noticed that he had some sort of emotional problems.
“I’ve seen him about three times, and I found out that he lives in a group home,” he said. “From what I’ve seen, he appears to have some kind of emotional problems. I had a conversation with him once and he seems out of touch. He asked me to pray for him and when I was preparing myself to pray, he got up and went away.”
Leakermarian says that the church will continue to hold services as they normally do. They will not be adding security, and call Tyrone’s attack an “isolated incident” that could have happened anywhere. “In Toronto, it can happen anywhere,” he said. “We welcome everyone. It will be a joyful moment to see Tyrone back here.”
[Image via Facebook]