CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - The cuts across pastor Larry James' face tell some of the story that had him fighting for his life wednesday afternoon.
Before police shot and killed 32-year-old robbery suspect, Michael Kelly, James came face to face with Kelly earlier that day at Southend Presybterian Church.
"I felt he thought I was an easy mark to get some money," James said. "When he said he was going to kill me, I said, 'not today!' I never believed that was going to happen."
James said Kelly asked about being a christian and bettering his life. The two even prayed inside the church together. As the pastor was walking Kelly out, James says things turned violent.
"He turned to me with the box knife and said, 'I will kill you, give me the money, give me your telephone, give me your car and your keys.'"
James refused. He says Kelly slashed his face and hands with the box cutter before he was able to fight back.
"I looked at him and didn't know what his intentions were. I wanted to hit him with my right hand, but the way he was positioned, if I would've swung, hemight have cut me. SoI got my left hand and I popped him in the jaw real good."
James was treated at the scene by Medic. Kelly got away in the pastor's car. According to police, he then held up a Family Dollar before he was shot and killed by an officer.
"It's really sad because the last thing I anticipated is that he would end up dead. I wanted him caught, but it was kind of a sad issue. He was dead because it appeared he wanted that."