Posted at: 04/28/2013 11:29 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Gerald Madrid is in a lot of pain, but is thankful to be alive.
He said he tried to protect his choir director who was being attacked by a young man during mass on Sunday.
"I instinctively just dropped my flute and I rushed the guy,” Madrid recalled from a UNM Hospital bed. “I rushed him. I never saw a knife, but I just rushed him. I bear-hugged him. We were chest on chest. I was wrapping about to take him down to ground, but I didn't have his arms. I had just my arms around his chest, so his arms were free. So that's when he started stabbing me.”
Madrid said he thought the suspect was punching him. It wasn't until other parishioners rushed the man, that Madrid realized he had been stabbed five times.
"I was fading in and out. I really thought I was going to die. But if I'm going to die there's no other place I'd rather be at than my church," he said.
Madrid owns a bail bonds business in Albuquerque. His son, Christian said helping people is a helpful man.
"I know he would be the kind of person to jump in and put his life before any other woman, child or man for that matter," said Christian Madrid. "Thank God I survived," said Gerald Madrid. “I'm sure it's going to be slow-going, lot of healing mentally and physically, I'm going to be sore for a long time I'm sure, but it's going to take a lot more than that to get me down."
Madrid says one of the stab wounds came about an inch from his spine.
Three other parishioners were also taken to the hospital with stab wounds.
Albuquerque police said everyone is expected to survive.