A pair of high school sweethearts who've been married for 25 years spent their Valentine's Day weekend in the hospital, recovering after a machete-wielding man attacked an Ohio restaurant last week, injuring them and two others.
"The way that this guy walked in and attacked me, it's a miracle that I'm alive today," Gerald Russell told ABC affiliate WSYX from the hospital, where he and his wife Debbie were recovering from cuts to their hands.
Gerald and Debbie had just finished dinner at the Nazareth Restaurant and Deli in Columbus Thursday when a man with a machete came over to their booth, they told WSYX.
"He walked directly at me, raised a machete up and tried to hit me from above, directly on top of my head," Gerald said.
Gerald said he shoved the man away from him while his wife tried to distract the attacker by screaming.
The machete-wielding man then went to the back of the restaurant, Debbie said.
"He started beating someone in the very back booth," she told WSYX. "And he was beating them with everything he had."
Though injured, the Russells were able to run outside for help. They were later taken to the hospital for treatment.
WSYX reported that Debbie almost lost a finger. "I could never live without her," Gerald told the station.
Another victim was hospitalized in critical but stable condition, while a fourth victim was treated and released, police said Friday.
After the attack, the suspect, identified as Mohamed Barry, 30, according to Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz, fled the scene in a car with police in pursuit, according to authorities. He was later shot and killed by a police officer.
The FBI is investigating the suspect's motive, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said Friday. Law enforcement sources told ABC News Friday that Barry was known to the FBI, but was not under full scale investigation.
The incident remains under investigation.