ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Parishioners of St. Jude Thaddeus catholic church are telling stories of heroes who came to the aid of parishioners when a young man carried out a knife attack during Sunday mass.
Among those who helped detain the suspect - 24-year-old Lawrence Capener - were off duty Albuquerque police officer Daren DeAguero, Rio Rancho police officer Chris Maestas, NM State Corrections Sergeant Gilbert Flores, FBI Agent Charles Metzler Jr, and Albuquerque fire Lieutenant Greg Aragon.
Sergeant Flores says he saw a man jump several pews and didn't realize what was happening immediately. It's when his wife yelled at him to go help that he realized how serious the situation was and jumped into action.
"I think it's part of our training and our instincts and doing the right thing regardless. You don't think of yourself at the time you just kind of say we need to take care of what is going on now." says Flores
Flores say the other officers and firefighter were there by his side trying to get Capener subdued. Fire Lieutenant Greg Aragon was stabbed in the head in the process, but witnesses say he continued to help the injured, not knowing he was injured himself. He was later treated for a cut to his scalp which required staples.
Officer Daren DeAguero, tells News 13 he was in the back of the church when the attack happened and at first he thought the suspect was punching the choir direction. When he ran to the front he saw blood everywhere and noticed a knife in the suspect's hand.
"They had him against the wall and some people were trying to pry it out, that's when I said we have to secure that knife and get him to the ground, an AFD guy was right by my side helping me, a corrections guy to get him cuffed." says DeAguero
Those who witnessed the attack say they are still stunned.
"I couldn't believe it happened in church was the main thing going through my mind...why here." says Flores
Flores says he feels for the choir members who were the focus of the attack. Each volunteers their time to sing each week out of the goodness of their hearts. Flores says the attack definitely could have been worse if it weren't for the many bystanders who stepped in to help.
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