A local pastor stopped a man from killing his ex wife after he saw her being beaten in a public parking lot, Sunday afternoon.
Philip Farrington, Freedom Ministries pastor, was driving by the Walmart in MacArthur when he saw a woman screaming for her life. He says she was being held down by John Perry Thornquest, Jr, her ex husband.
“He had her by the hair of her head and just beating her head into the ground,” Farrington tells 59News. “And I pulled him off of the woman and then he got back on her again and was choking her, and I saw her go unconscious. And so I hit the man trying to stop him.”
But Thornquest continued to try beating the woman. So Farrington pulled out his gun in attempt to scare him.
“I fired one shot in the air,” Farrington says. “And I thought that would get his attention and maybe stop him. But all he said was, in a calm voice, he said, ‘you’re gonna have to kill me. If you don’t I’m gonna kill her.’ He just looked at me and said, ‘please kill me.'”
Farrington says he had the woman take cover in his truck.
That’s when Thornquest got back into his own vehicle. Farrington believes he had deadly intentions.
“He slammed on the gas and just crushed me between my truck and his,” Farrington says. “And he backed up and hit me again, and I rolled out of the way, and then he began to just hit the truck, smash it over and over again probably eight or 10 times trying to get back to her.”
After a long scuffle, Farrington says law enforcement eventually arrived and arrested Thornquest. Both the woman and Farrington were taken to Raleigh General Hospital for their injuries.
Farrington says before he left the hospital, he stopped by her room to check on her.
“She told me that I saved her life,” Farrington tells 59News. “She told me that, she laughed, and said that I’m a super hero preacher. And I said no I’m not and that God saved her life, and I’m just thankful I was able to help her.”
Farrington is now looking to replace his truck that suffered $8,000 worth of damage. Police say he had the right to defend himself with his gun as Thornquest attacked him.
Thornquest faces multiple counts of attempted murder, malicious wounding, and destruction of property. He is currently being held in the Southern Regional Jail. His bond is set at $200,000.