Heroes from April Church Stabbings Recognized
Date: May 24, 2013
Dayna Gardner: (505) 414-3438
Albuquerque- Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry, Chief Raymond Schultz, and Chief James Breen gathered to show their appreciation to five men who put themselves in danger to stop a shocking stabbing in the midst of a church service at St. Jude's Church.
Four people were stabbed during the church service on April 28, 2013, all were transported with non-life threatening injuries.
The service was coming to a close, petitioners were singing the last worship song, and choir members stood at the front of the church when suddenly everything was brutally interrupted by a man that started violently stabbing choir members.
Several people went into action tackling the assailant to the ground, calling 911, handcuffing the man, and holding him down until emergency responders. Five of those men were honored in a ceremony today and named heroes to the community:
- Albuquerque Police Officer Daren DeAguero
- Albuquerque Fire Department Lieutenant Greg Aragon
- Department of Corrections Sgt. Gilbert Flores,
- FBI Special Agent Charles Metzler Jr., and
- Rio Rancho Police Officer Chris Maestas.
While assisting with the takedown, AFD Lt. Greg Aragon was stabbed in the head. He didn't even realize he had been stabbed until minutes after he started triaging patients. Lt. Aragon was transported to the hospital and had to get two staples in his head.
"It was tragic day for our entire community, but we are eternally grateful that these brave men went into action so quickly- preventing any further injuries and saving lives," said Mayor Berry. "I know the wounds of this terrifying day are still healing- our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and victims of this heinous crime and we thank God that no lives were taken."
Corrections Secretary Gregg Mercantile and Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston were also in attendance to show their gratitude to the valiant men. Joseph Dorn, the Executive Director of Metro Teen Court, said the heroes will also be honored during Public Safety Day on Saturday, May 25 at the Target at Paseo Del Norte and I-25.