Police say a 24-year-old man stabbed four people at a Catholic church in Albuquerque as a Sunday mass was nearing its end.
Police spokesman Robert Gibbs says Lawrence Capener jumped over several pews at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church around noon Sunday and walked up to the choir area where he began his attack.
The choir’s pianist, Brenda Baca King, told KRQE-TV that the attacker was looking at the lead soloist. “I just remember seeing him hurdle over the pews, hurdle over people and run towards us and I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is not good,'” Baca King said.
“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.
The injuries to the four church-goers weren’t life-threatening. All four were being treated at hospitals.
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.
Some of those who were stabbed were members of the choir.