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Hit Repeatedly by .45-Caliber Hollow-Point Bullets, Pastor Tim Remington is a Living Miracle

Suffering eight traumatic wounds from .45-caliber hollow-point bullets, pastor Tim Remington's miraculous ongoing recovery is a testament to forgiveness and God's faithfulness.
Thirty-year-old Kyle Odom, a former Marine, took a military stance, raised his weapon, and fired 12 rounds of .45-caliber hollow-point bullets from a distance of approximately 15 feet away at the back of pastor Tim Remington. As Remington (then 55) fell to the ground, blood pouring from gaping wounds, Odom returned to his car and drove away, satisfied he had completed his task of ridding Earth of Remington.

It was Sunday, March 6, 2016, when Odom — who claims voices inside of his head were directing him — opened fire on the unsuspecting Remington. An Assemblies of God minister with the Northwest Ministry Network who is also lead pastor at The Altar church in Coeur d’Alene (pronounced core duh-lane), Idaho, Remington had just finished Sunday morning services, followed by an after-service counseling session with a family. He was outside the church, speaking on his cell phone with his son, Jadon, confirming lunch plans, when Odom opened fire.

“I had gone to the grocery store while I was waiting to hear where we were going to eat,” says Cindy, Tim’s wife of 42 years. “But I forgot that I still had my ringer off from church. When we walked out of the store, I remembered and turned it back on. I looked and saw I had missed a call from Tim and multiple others.

Cindy attempted to return Tim’s call. No answer. She then called Jadon, who had had also attempted to call her. His words, at first, caused her to just shake her head as Tim and the boys regularly teased her about having her phone off and they could be stuck in a ditch somewhere.

“He said, ‘Mom, Dad’s been shot,’” Cindy recalls. “I thought he was joking. But he repeated that Tim had been shot and he was on the way to the hospital.”

Jadon later told Cindy that he was talking on the phone with Tim when Odom began shooting.

“Jadon told me it sounded like someone pounding on a metal door,” Cindy says, “and then the phone dropped to the ground and he heard Tim struggling, gurgling blood. He then heard a man (who apparently had called 911) say, ‘Pastor Tim Remington has been shot, corner of 9th and Best.’ That’s how Jadon learned about what happened.”


Some may not be aware why being shot with a hollow-point bullet can be so life threatening. According to targetsportsusa.com, a hollow-point bullet “mushrooms” when it strikes, causing a significantly larger wound channel and more bleeding than a standard bullet. Also, due to the mushrooming, a hollow-point bullet typically lodges in the body rather than passing through.

What does it feel like to be shot multiple times with .45 caliber (meaning roughly .45 inches in diameter prior to being fired) hollow-point bullets at point-blank range? Few people live long enough to say, but Tim makes a point that few may consider. In addition to doing extensive damage to flesh and bone, a fired bullet is scorching hot, with the heat painfully dissipating into flesh and/or bone, depending on where it lodges.

“The heat from one of the bullets damaged Tim’s colon,” Cindy says, which led to Tim having to use a colostomy bag for seven months.

Of the 12 rounds fired, six bullets found their mark.

“One bullet went just 1 millimeter to the right of my spine up by the shoulder blade and another went through my belt and then through the pelvic bone,” Tim says. “A third went through the upper part of my right arm, shattering my humerus. Another hit me in the shoulder, exited, and then struck me in the head.”

Two more bullets also struck Tim’s brachial plexus (the network of nerves that sends signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm, and hand).

“The surgeon, who is a believer, later told me that my right arm was in 128 pieces, including my shoulder, which, according to him, could best be envisioned if you took a glass, wrapped it completely in duct tape, and then struck it repeatedly with a hammer. What you would have once you removed the tape is fragments and powdered glass — and that’s what my shoulder looked like, with fragments of bone scattered in the surrounding muscle tissue.”

The bullet that struck Tim twice, exiting the shoulder area and then striking Tim in the head, left doctors amazed.

“That bullet made a dime-size hole in Tim’s head and somehow stopped right at the dura (membrane of connective tissues that surrounds the brain),” Cindy says. “One of the doctors told me if we were looking for a miracle that was a miracle.”

To understand how badly Tim was wounded, an officer arriving on the scene, in an attempt to slow the blood loss, stuck three of his fingers into the bullet wounds in Tim’s back. Did it make a difference? It may have as every drop ended up counting.

“By the time Tim got to the OR (operating room), doctors told me that Tim had lost 90% of his blood -- he should have been dead,” Cindy says.

She says she learned (after Tim was safely recovering) that by the time she arrived at the hospital, few of the staff believed Tim would survive surgery — and questioned why he wasn’t already dead.

“When they receive a call of multiple gunshots, a person is typically not expected to survive the ride to the hospital,” Cindy says. “A kind nurse wanted to give the family a chance to see him before going into the operating room. She led us to where Tim was lying on a gurney, and even as he was covered in blood and in terrible pain, he was still alert.”

During that short time, where they emphatically expressed their love for each other as well as for the kids, Cindy asked Tim if he knew what had happened — he did not. She explained he’d been shot. His response, though murmured through his intense pain, was in his typical humor: “Well, I kinda figured that.” However, at that time, no one knew who the assailant was for sure or why Tim was targeted.

But those words of dry humor simply reenforced to Cindy what she believed God had already spoken to her — Tim was going to live!


Twelve bullets were fired by Odom . . . only six struck Tim, with one bullet making three wounds (entry, exit, and re-entry). What happened to the other six?

One bullet struck a car, and two bullets were never accounted for, apparently clean misses (by a former Marine at 15 feet!). But Cindy says that police reports confirm that one fired bullet (mushroomed) was found on the parking lot between where Odom stood and Tim was. That made no sense. Tim was wearing a dress shirt, a thin suit vest, and a suit coat — not body armor.

And if that didn’t make any sense, the other two bullets — what Cindy, Tim, and doctors agree would have likely been “kill shots” — were discovered in the most unusual of positions.

One fully mushroomed bullet had penetrated Tim’s jacket and vest, but stopped at the fabric of his shirt near the center of his back. The final bullet’s location was stranger still; it was found in Tim’s front left breast pocket of his suit coat, roughly right in front of his heart, fully mushroomed.

“This was God telling me, ‘If you wondered if I stopped those bullets, here is the proof,” Cindy says.

She then points out that even the bullet that ended up damaging Tim’s colon was a miracle as well. The bullet made a hole in Tim’s pelvic bone rather than fracturing it and then curved upwards rather than continuing and perhaps striking an artery or other organs. Doctors didn’t have an explanation as to why the bullet changed directions after going through the bone.


While there is nothing positive about being shot, being shot in front of your own church does have one benefit – prayers for Tim may have very well began before the echoes of the shots had faded. And, as the Remingtons learned, from that point on, the prayers quickly multiplied.

While Cindy, her three sons and daughter, other family members, and church members were in the hospital waiting room as Tim underwent what would be seven hours of surgery, Cindy says she was caught off guard by news reports appearing on the waiting room’s television.

“Newscasters came on the television and were reporting how ‘pastor Tim Remington’ had been shot by an unknown assailant . . . we were watching our lives on the TV screen,” Cindy says. The news broadcast Tim’s brother, Rick, at that evening’s prayer vigil asking for prayer for Tim as well as for prayer and forgiveness be extended to the person who shot him (Odom was apprehended two days later without incident).

“What a remarkable thing, the newscasters even asked for prayer for Tim and to pray for the offender,” Cindy says. “And it was like that throughout the community — people lifting them both up in prayer.”

Tim later learned about the prayer vigil held for him.

“There were 700 people who gathered that night in Coeur d’Alene in a prayer vigil,” Tim says. “Imagine, 700 people gathering to pray for me, that God would give my life back and even greater than it was before!”

Adella Eckstein, who has been attending The Altar for about 12 years and has been the church secretary for the past nine years, was at the prayer vigil that night, having had viewed the church video of the shooting earlier in the day.

“The presence of God was so thick,” she recalls. “You felt the unity of the Spirit, bringing the community and the body of Christ together.”

The news of Tim’s shooting quickly spread through national news outlets, including AG News, and within days, people across the country and around the world were lifting Tim and the assailant/Odom up in prayer.

“For weeks, I took 80 to 100 calls a day inquiring about pastor Tim,” Eckstein says. “Then things started firing up as people witnessed a miracle (Tim’s survival and recovery) — no one can deny what happened and that God was in it!”

And what Cindy sees as God’s confirmation of the promise spoken into her heart that Tim would survive the shooting, was the unexpected message from a nurse.

“A nurse came in following surgery and Tim was being taken to the recovery room,” Cindy says. “He still had his scrubs and his cap on. He looked slowly and intentionally around the room, with about 20 of us still there at that time, and said in a solemn voice, ‘The devil did not get a victory today.’ Then he turned around and left. Although we’ve tried, we have never been able to track him down – no one knew who he was. Whether he was an angel or not, that was an amazing and meaningful moment to us all.”

Tim then shares an enlightening insight: while he was in an induced coma following surgery, he couldn’t communicate, but he heard everything being said — the prayers and encouraging words as well as the doubts.


Almost from the moment he realized he had been shot, Tim was forgiving his attacker, urging others to forgive and pray for the person just as so many others already felt compelled to do.

Even though that kind of immediate response clearly communicates what’s in the heart, the continuing state of forgiveness is something perhaps only those who have been through similar trauma can fully appreciate.

Making it through what could only be shallowly described as the searing, excruciating pain of being shot (and having bones shattered) and then going through recovery from surgery where Tim’s shoulder was literally pieced together and his humerus (upper arm bone) replaced with a titanium rod, already seems like an incredible abundance of grace to maintain forgiveness.

But that is only the start.

Being an avid piano player who enjoys ministering through music, Tim no longer has feeling in his right arm or hand except for ongoing phantom pains that Tim says makes it feel like he’s placed his hand in boiling oil and his skin is melting off from his elbow to his hand.

Tim is also a minister who doesn’t stand still or even stay on the stage while preaching. The bullet through his pelvis at first left doctors wondering if he would walk again. Though through strenuous physical therapy, he has regained the ability to walk, but it is far from pain-free.

The bullet to the head has impacted some of his memory, not severely, but he and Cindy have noticed the difference.

Then there were the months wearing a colostomy bag until doctors could perform surgery to repair his intestines, followed by a stroke three weeks after leaving the hospital that left him so weakened that he couldn’t even feed himself.

“I was released 23 days after being shot to continue recovery, with nurses’ visits, at my home,” Tim says. “But an oversight was made at the hospital — I wasn’t given blood thinners, which resulted in the stroke.”

Already working through not being able to use his right arm or hand, now there seemed no hope for ministry to continue.


“One off the most humbling things in the world is being in a wheelchair, you can’t move, and you’re sitting in a restaurant with your wife feeding you,” Tim says with some emotion.

All the physical pain, the loss of mobility, the loss of ministry, the loss of abilities and gifts, the loss of independence . . . yet Tim maintained an attitude of forgiveness and clung to his faith in God.

“But the Lord and I had some long talks,” Tim admits. “I told the Lord that, ‘I can’t live this way. How can I be a testimony to You if I can’t get out there and preach the gospel?’ I felt worthless. And that’s when God put a spark into my life and things began to turnaround.”

Tim began strenuous physical therapy with the help of a friend. He slowly recovered from the stroke impairments, regaining full mobility on his left side, though he says his strength is still only about 80 to 85%.

Cindy says she never thought about not forgiving Odom – her focus was 100% on helping Tim recover. She understood that Tim surviving long enough to even reach the hospital and then making it through surgery were miracles in themselves.

“When the surgeon tells you ‘I’ll do what I can,’ they’re not words of comfort,” she says. She says all her energies went into Tim’s recovery – she had no time to be bitter. And once Tim came home, she learned and performed many of the duties of a nurse, with Tim’s stroke only adding to her focus.

“The Lord miraculously sustained me during that time,” Cindy says.

However, there was a moment where she found herself in a spiritual battle.

“We were in the court room before the hearing, Kyle [Odom] on one side, we were on the other,” Cindy recalls. “And they played the video from the church cameras in the court room, and you see Tim being shot — that was the first time I had seen that video. I looked at Kyle’s face, and Tim was in so much pain that morning, and I thought, You did this! You’re the one responsible — how could you . . . I felt anger rise up in me, but it didn’t last long before I realized Kyle was just a puppet being used.”

Although forgiveness has kept bitterness from taking root, Cindy says that it’s not easy knowing the intense pain Tim is in and not being able to do anything to take it away.

“It breaks my heart,” she says. “But from the very beginning, my dominant emotion has been gratefulness. The Lord has used Tim to accomplish the miraculous.”


After Odom was apprehended, his story was a headscratcher for authorities. Odom claimed he believed Tim and other leaders were Martians who had taken over human bodies and were preparing to bring calamity upon the world.

The voices inside of Odom’s head told him he had to kill Tim, apparently the ringleader, as well as several others to save the world. Odom was caught by authorities throwing his “proof” over the gates of the Whitehouse, possibly with the twisted intent of the government finishing the task. Some believe Odom was suffering from PTSD from his time in the military.

Tim, however, believes it was more than that. Having met with and prayed with Odom’s parents, Tim has also visited Odom twice in prison.

“When Kyle returned from Afghanistan, he didn’t get the help he needed,” Tim says. “He couldn’t sleep, so he opened himself up to an Eastern form of transcendental meditation. However, the next morning when he woke up, the voices in his head began – telling him everything he believed to be truth was a lie, which ultimately led him to believing that he needed to kill me, even though he didn’t know who I was and we had never met before. I believe he invited an entity — a demon — into his life.”

Yet even with the understanding of Odom being demon-possessed, that isn’t the reason Tim has forgiven him. In fact, he refers to the event that did provide him the ability to forgive as the biggest miracle in the world.

“It was 44 years ago, and I was on the way to California from Idaho — I was going to commit suicide,” he says. “I believed in God, I grew up in the church, but trying to find Christians who acted the way the Bible said they were supposed to act was another ball game. So, I pulled over to the side of the road, which was then called Devil’s Turn.”

Tim says he desperately wanted a real relationship with God that he could feel, so he gave God a chance. He promised God that if he could feel that God loved him and could feel Him just like he could feel somebody else, he would be a Jesus freak for life, otherwise . . .

“I put my head on the steering wheel and got ready to pray,” Tim recalls. “I didn’t get a word out and man-oh-man! it was a done deal! I felt so much love and compassion that I drove down to a restaurant in Redding, California, got on the phone, called my mom, and told her that I really, drastically got born again. Then I went to every booth, telling everybody about the love of God and what God did in my life and I couldn’t stop — to this day it’s hard for me to stop; it’s extremely real and I feel it still today!”

And that is why Tim was so ready to forgive Odom. And when the “shepherd” has that approach to forgiveness, perhaps it’s easier to understand others’ acceptance of his guidance to forgive.

“The Lord says to forgive as you have been forgiven,” Eckstein notes. “For pastor to forgive someone who shot him, and he’s still hurting every single day, that is something for people to see — he’s living what he’s preaching.”


Due to the amount of local, state, and national news coverage of the shooting, a person would be hard pressed to find anyone in Idaho who hadn’t heard at least something about Tim’s miraculous survival.

And while Tim was in the hospital and recovering, things at the church were going well — people were getting saved and the Spirit was moving. And in addition to churches around the world learning of Tim’s encounter, survival, and forgiveness, military personnel also learned of it as the story found its way into military journals (as Odom was a former marine).

“The Lord was glorified in so many ways,” Cindy says.

“Four months after being shot, I was behind the pulpit again, preaching,” Tim says. “Of course, I had to sit, I was still trying to get out of a wheelchair . . . the Lord told me I would get back up, but it would be a rough ride and He was right — not that He would ever be wrong.”

It took more than a year for Tim to be able to walk among people safely, without fear of falling from an unintentional shoulder brush. However, a grating pain remains, which intensifies if he walks too much.

Perhaps the one blessing/miracle that still has doctors shaking their heads is Tim’s right arm and hand — the part of his body that feels like it’s on fire. Although these phantom pains are very real to Tim’s mind, he has no physical feeling in his hand or arm as the nerves have not reconnected. Yet, through God’s divine provision, Tim can still play the piano with two hands! Doctors can’t explain it. Tim can’t explain it, but his joy and thankfulness are clearly evident.

And then, of all things, in 2020, the governor of Idaho contacted Tim to fill a vacated seat in the state’s House of Representatives.

“I accepted the position as I felt that's what the Lord wanted me to do,” Tim says. “But it’s not something I would recommend to anybody — it’s spiritual warfare . . . you watch normal people get in a position like that and they change . . . I watched it happen again and again. Power corrupts if you’re not careful.”

Although urged to do so by others, Tim declined to run for office again, stating the God called him to be a pastor first, not a politician.


Through the years, Tim and Cindy have continued to pray for Kyle Odom and his family. Odom is eligible for parole in just over 2 years.

“He’s still plagued by these voices — he feels assaulted every day by these entities,” Cindy says. “But when Tim visits or his parents visit, who are also Christians, he doesn't hear the voices; the rest of the time, he’s plagued by these demons.”

Tim has long ago resumed all his duties as pastor of The Altar church. He preaches, plays piano, sings, ministers, the church has grown, they’ve done overseas ministry, and they’ve even planted another church — and everything Tim does today is literal evidence of the miraculous.

But it’s easy to jump from one year to the next while sharing a story, which can “gloss over” the daily difficulties of a journey. For example, “physical therapy” may sound warm and good, but it doesn’t feel good — the progress is often an agonizingly slow and frequently painful mental and physical daily battle.

And to even imagine every single day of those years feeling like your hand is on fire, your skin melting, and with every individual step experiencing pain . . . and knowing this is your life for the rest of your life . . .

The words “forgiveness” and “miraculous” are well paired here in light of the Remingtons' journey. Yet Tim considers Odom a friend who needs Jesus.

But can’t God intervene and finish His healing touch upon Tim’s life? The answer is a definitive yes! Tim says that God has already spoken to him about that — his healing is coming!

“It’s going to happen, I tell you it’s going to happen and I’m excited for it,” Tim says, his voice reflecting his conviction. “The Lord told me in the first three months of my recovery that when Kyle gets saved, I’ll get a total healing myself. And I tell you, if I had to go through all of this for the saving of just one soul, for Kyle, then yes, I would go through this again!”

Dan Van Veen

Dan Van Veen is news editor of AG News. Prior to transitioning to AG News in 2001, Van Veen served as managing editor of AG U.S. Missions American Horizon magazine for five years. He attends Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, where he and his wife, Lori, teach preschool Sunday School and 4- and 5-year-old Rainbows boys and girls on Wednesdays.