For the first time since last month’s church shooting in Lakeland, Fla., Pastor William Boss, who was shot in the head while kneeling in prayer, has spoken out – declaring his survival was based solely on God’s hand.
Boss said he forgives Jeremiah Fogel for his violent rampage against him and Greater Faith Christian Church.
Fogel’s motive for the violent crime is still unknown.
Boss recounted seeing a puff of smoke and hearing a loud clapping sound that he later realized was a gunshot.
“My body turned when I saw his face. And of course the words were, ‘Oh my God!” Boss said in an exclusive interview with Tampa Bay’s 10 News.
Boss said he was somehow able to stand, walk through the church and down a hallway to a telephone where he called 911.
On his call, he said. “My name is William Boss and I have been shot.”
Boss feels grateful for God’s hand. According to news reports, Boss has not returned to the pulpit. He said he is waiting for God to tell him when the right time is to share with his congregation what he calls the miracle of his life.
However, the Lakeland pastor still experiences persistent headaches and has trouble sleeping due to emotional scarring from the shootings.
CFN 13 reported that Boss and associate pastor Carl Stewart were taken to Lakeland Regional Hospital after the shooting. Boss' wound was not considered life threatening, while Stewart was in critical condition and has undergone surgery.
Steward remains hospitalized but according to Boss, he is expected to recover.
According to 10 News, 57-year-old Fogel, who killed his wife Theresa before the church shooting, was once a member of the Greater Faith Christian Church on West Parker Street.
The Christian Post reported that the couple wed at the church in 2002.
When News 10 asked Boss what he thinks will happen to Fogel, Boss said "that decision is now in the hands of the judicial system and God.”