'Pillar of community' pastor faces attempted murder charge after repeatedly stabbing female reverend in the face and body
A pastor left another pastor lying in a pool of blood after stabbing her in the face and body in what police say was an unprovoked attack.
Reverend Edward Fairley was arrested for the attempted murder of Reverend Simone Shields after he was spotted staggering through the streets soaked in blood and carrying a knife on Tuesday morning.
The pair from Paterson, New Jersey, worked together and were believed to be in a relationship, according to authorities.
It is alleged that Fairley, 59, stormed into the home of a friend of Rev Shields, 52, who was styling the pastor’s hair.
According to an associate, Fairley had called ahead to make sure Rev Shields was there as he ‘wanted to return some personal papers’.
But when he arrived he pulled a knife from his pocket and started repeatedly stabbing Rev Shields in the face and body, leaving her to die on the kitchen floor.
A witness added: ‘After he finished, he walked out calm as ever and starting walking up the street.’
Police were called to the address and taken to St Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, where she remains in a critical but stable condition.
Fairley was arrested for attempted murder and is in Paterson police custody after calmly leaving the property, covered in blood and still brandishing the knife.
Church leaders were stunned by the attack, calling Fairley a good man and a ‘pillar’ in the community.
Rev Chester Taylor told the North Jersey Record: ‘I don’t know what the Lord wants us to look at with this situation.’
While Rev Stafford Miller of St Philip’s Ministry added: ‘I have a lot of respect for him’.
Fairley has been previously convicted for violence.
In 1983 the then Baptist minister was indicted on charges of breaking into his estranged wife’s apartment and stabbing her, according to a report at the time.
He leads a large congregation at his church, which regularly holds charity events.
On his ministry’s website the former organ player said he wanted to be a preacher since the age of five, but only made the leap after his time in the US Marine Corps.