Just one day after praying with presidential candidate Ted Cruz, Pastor Tim Remington was shot as many times as Suge Knight—and he’s expected to make a full recovery.
“Oh, it’s an absolute miracle—by God’s grace and mercy,” Adella Eckstein, secretary at Remington’s church, told The Daily Beast. “He’s pretty heavily sedated right now but, yes, it’s a miracle.”
Remington is a locally beloved, socially conservative senior pastor at The Altar Church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and on Saturday spoke at a Cruz campaign rally in Coeur d’Alene, praying with the Republican presidential hopeful and delivering the invocation.
“We’ve been waiting for somebody who represented God for a long time, you know?” the 55-year-old pastor told the crowd of roughly 3,000 people. “Not only are we looking forward to someone who represents God, but [somebody who] really represents the people.”
He went on to pray for a leader “who is not afraid to put his hand on the Bible,” and for “a man who will protect the Constitution,” build “a nation of character, once again,” and get America out of debt and restore our economic strength.
“A humble man,” Remington said, who would fight against abortion and also have the will to guide the nation through its “physical battle” against the enemy (read: ISIS).
Just 24 hours later, Remington was shot repeatedly from behind—including in the head and a lung—in his church’s parking lot as he was getting into his car following morning services.
Amazingly, Remington is in the hospital and now on track to being “absolutely fine,” according to friends and colleagues who have spoken with doctors at Kootenai Health. On Monday, there was an outpouring of support from family friends and church members, with the overall mood at The Altar Church shifting from shock, fear, and confusion to one of sheer surprise and jovial relief.
“Shot six times and not ONE vital hit,” family friend Roger Crigger posted on Facebook. “One of the bullets TRIED to enter the brain but stopped at the skull, one of the bullets busted his hip, one fractured his shoulder pretty bad, but he is and will continue to be ALIVE AND SERVING GOD! Just like we all KNEW he would! … HIS NAME IS TIM REMINGTON AND HE LIVES, IN JESUS NAME!”
Coeur d’Alene police are saying that the suspected shooter is 30-year-old Kyle Andrew Odom, fled the scene in a silver Honda Accord. He is still at large, and is reportedly armed and dangerous.
“For the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, this is all hands on deck,” Police Chief Lee White said, also stating that motive is not yet clear. “We’re getting everybody out here to investigate this crime.”
According to his Facebook page, Odom studied biochemistry at the University of Idaho and served as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps.
In an email to The Daily Beast, the Marine Corps public affairs office confirmed that Odom did indeed serve from November 2006 to November 2010, and that his speciality was as a flight equipment technician.
Odom is an Iraq War veteran, and records show that his awards include an Iraq Campaign Medal (which are given to service members who serve in Iraq in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom), a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, and a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. His deployment dates are listed as March 28 to October 17, 2009.
Members of The Altar Church say that Remington, who is director of a faith-based drug rehab program, has been threatened several times by addicts over the years. Remington is described by Altar Church outreach pastor John Padula as “very politically active” in the area, and as someone who “wants God back in our country” and for more Americans to “get ahold of Jesus.” (You can click here to read about how the church has taken in “a lot of” LGBT individuals and “rehab[s] them” to “God’s ways,” for instance.)
Remington and church members are fans of Cruz and Ben Carson, and the pastor has yet to formally endorse a specific 2016 candidate.
“Our prayers are with Pastor Tim, his family, and the doctors who are supervising his care,” Cruz campaign spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told The Daily Beast. “We pray for his full recovery and are thankful for the efforts of law enforcement to ensure the attacker is swiftly brought to justice.”
Padula says he and his colleagues have no idea who Odom is, if he has any connection to the church, or why he might want to gun down their senior pastor.
“We just want Kyle to turn himself in, and we don’t want to see him do damage to anyone else,” Padula told The Daily Beast. “We just want to see his life restored. If you knew Pastor Tim, if that guy came [to see him] right now, the pastor would love him not different than he loves you or me…Hopefully, this is something we can [even] laugh about with the suspect in a few years time.”
Early last year, Remington told the Coeur d’Alene Press about how he reacted when somebody else wronged him and his family.
“If you know that there’s a prostitute out there and you know she’s going to get herself hurt, go do something about it,” he said in February 2015. “‘Well, we don’t want to have her come to our house because she could steal from us…’ So? So she steals from you. So what? Did you help her in the very end? You’re going to take a chance. But if you help one, it’s worth it. So, we’ve never worried about that. My wife and I have had one person in over 500 that have stayed with us that ever stole from us and it was our very first person. It was in Southern California, a heroin addict … I almost quit [because of that]. But then I thought about it for a minute and I thought, ‘Boy, if I’m that weak, then I shouldn’t be doing it anyway, if I’m that weak’ … So that’s when I started really striving after God’s character.”
Today, Remington’s wife, Cindy, and his daughter and three sons are waiting at the hospital for him to come to. Supporters and friends are now raising money online to try to help cover his medical expenses.
“It’s gonna be really painful when he wakes up, hopefully by tomorrow,” Padula said. “But for now, he is stable and everything is good.”
Updated 3/8/16 at 1:00pm to add comment from the Cruz campaign.