People in San Jose paused Saturday to remember the victims of a deadly stabbing at Grace Baptist Church nearly one year ago.
They gathered to help each other heal and to help prevent any more violence.
It was a night James Chelley will never forget. The shelter employee for Grace Solutions was stabbed three times by a homeless man in November of 2020.
“I felt pain and it was going into where my lung is at,” he said.
Chelley said that he pulled the knife from his body and fought the attacker. He had a chance to run out of the building but instead he ran to where the female clients were staying to keep them safe.
“I locked the doors behind the ladies, so he wouldn’t be able to get to them,” he added.
Chelley pushed against the door with his bleeding back while the attacker tried to get in, giving the women a chance to run out a back door.
Chelley gave CPR to one victim and tried to help shelter volunteer Kimberly Fial, who had been stabbed. The 55-year-old trans woman died.
On this National Trans Day of Remembrance, Fial was honored along with all the trans victims killed in the us in the past year.
The community gathered Saturday at the church to remember, heal, with words and music.
Some of the police officers who responded to the scene nearly a year ago came to pay their respects to the two people killed.
“Tonight, we came together to say thank you to the community and for the people, who have also provided additional security at this church and the shelter,” said Reverend George Oliver, senior pastor at Grace Baptist Church.