Pianist Marcus Stanley had played and toured with some big names in the music industry when a close brush with death 10 years ago forever changed his views on faith, career and fortune.
Stanley, who believes he saw an angel appear during the harrowing ordeal, recently told CBN News about the evening of April 2, 2004 — when he was violently attacked by a group of men.
The musician recalled how a man approached him as part of a gang initiation, pulling out a .45 caliber from inside of his jacket and shooting him eight times at close range before leaving him for dead.
Marcus Stanley describes his close brush with death (Marcus Stanley/Facebook)
"He had a leather jacket on and a hoodie and he pulled it out and pointed at me, shot it one time," Stanley said. "When I first saw the flash I didn't know I got shot."
But it's what happened next that Stanley believes was supernatural.
"I just remember hitting the ground and then when he stood over top of me that's when I saw an angel get in front of me," he told CBN News. "And I remember it because I didn't have time to think about that. It was an instantaneous thing."
The performer went on to describe the figure as being around 7-feet tall and transparent with no wings; Stanley said he could not tell whether the being was a male or female.
That said, he's entirely sure of what he saw.
"I knew it was an angel just because the protection," he told the outlet "It got into a position like this [arms crossed] in front of me and I remember seeing that."
Despite his grave injuries, Stanley was somehow able to dial 911, noting that doctors were skeptical that survival was possible at that point, though they rushed him into surgery.
And that's where he again said that he saw the same angel that he believes was standing over him immediately following the shooting.
"I remember looking as I'm getting ready for surgery, I remember looking and seeing the same angel that was on the street and the angel was just kind of like arms crossed," he said. "It didn't do anything or say anything. It was kind of like nodding its head."
Watch him describe the experience below:
Despite the grim chances of survival, Stanley made it through some serious surgeries. And while doctors said that nerve damage to his right hand would end his piano career, he again proved them wrong and was touring within months of the incident.
The shooting left him struggling with prescription painkillers and heroin, though, and it wasn't until five years later that Stanley finally abandoned substances and drew closer to God.
Still, the experience left him with a story that he tells around the globe. Read more about Stanley's life and story here.