ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - When a man reportedly rushed a church choir near the end of Sunday mass and started stabbing people , several people rushed toward the choir to help.
KRQE News 13 learned more about the people who chose to put themselves in harms way when they had a split second to take action.
Witnesses described it as a terrifying experience, when police said Lawrence Capener rushed the choir and started stabbing people.
"One person had seven stabs in the back, the other person had two stabs in the right arm," said Herbert Trujillo, parishioner at Saint Jude Thaddeus Church.
The choir had been singing a closing hymn at the end of Sunday mass, when the peace turned to panic.
"I glanced up and I saw a younger man, he just had a look of anger and fury, hatred," explained Brenda Baca King, church pianist.
Baca King said that's when 24-year-old Capener hurdled over the pews and rushed the lead soloist. At first, parishioners said they thought he was punching the victim, but quickly realized it was even worse.
"You heard him say ow, ow, like he is getting stabbed," recalled one witness.
"All the crowd and people there started going toward him and getting him, tackling him down and everyone was calling 911," said Matthew, a parishioner at Saint Jude Thaddeus Church.
Witnesses said some people went to protect their children, while others rushed toward the suspect. Amidst the chaos, witnesses said it took several people to hold him down until police arrived.
Among those who sprang into action were an off-duty Albuquerque firefighter, Department of Corrections Sergeant Gilbert Flores and other off-duty APD officers.
"I remember standing up and seeing just 20 men all coming to protect us and offer their aid and service, to protect us and make sure nobody got hurt, it was unbelievable, the feeling and the look of protection in these men's eyes" Baca King recalled.
"The main guy that got hurt and said 'I got hurt, it hurts,' my girlfriend's dad took him behind this building and gave him aid and water," said one witness.
Another witness told KRQE News 13 one of the people who tackled the suspect was injured when he tried to hold the knife away.
Police have not yet released the names of those who were wounded. Several people have offered prayers for those who were hurt.
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