I hope you friend will be ok, and I hope the attacker gets a long time in prison. It is a shame that it took something like this for him to take being armed seriously. OC spray, in my opinion, is a useful and essential tool in your self defense arsenal.
I make no assumptions anymore about ANYWHERE being "safe." You can be living right down the straight and narrow being polite and courteous and with drug crazed hot heads running around everywhere and mistaken identities you just never know when someone will bring the crap to you.
I've had 3 people lately ask if I was so and so (different names) or if I worked at so and so. When I told them no they said I had a twin around here (to which I replied I felt sorry for them). It just makes you wonder about mistaken identities. I hope these other dudes that look like me are cool and don't cause problems.