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Witness Vantage Points

What could each eyewitnesses see of the shots? Did they have clear or unobstructed views? Were they looking at the action or elsewhere? Here is what they recalled.


Mary T
I was looking at the back of the officers because they were pretty much blocking my view. There was the podium and the three policemen, so I didn't really have much view. I saw the top half of him, but I didn't see what happened.
source:12/3 interview
I wasn't really looking at him, I was looking at the police because they were talking to him.
Did he have the knife to his eye when he got shot?
I didn't see that but it was around that time that I saw it, and I looked over toward the police. I looked more toward the policemen. Actually, I actually saw the shooting.. one of the policemen shoot in that direction at the time, and I ... to say precisely if you wanted to say when the shot went off, and looking at him, I didn't see both at the same time.
source:12/2 interview
This lady and all this is to my back. I had my back to ... I never saw any shots. I never saw any of that. I have ... it was all to my back. I looked and this man had his gun out, and I thought that was just as scary. It never occurred to me there was going to be gun fire. Never. I never actually saw any of the shots.
source:12/2 interview
I was watching him much more closely than I was watching them because I felt that he was psychotic.
When the shots were fired I was looking at him. I wasn't looking at them.
source:12/3 interview, p.9
With both hands? With the knife as well?
Well, I don't know that. I can't ... I couldn't ... I can not tell you about that because I don't know that. I was concerned about Mary. Some woman came into me and said we had to get out , again. So I was distracted by that.
source:12/3 interview, p.10
I'm telling you, I have no clue. I've no idea. And then when the first shot fired I had turned my back, and I was already walking toward the exit and then I ran. I didn't even see the first shot itself.
I was in the front row on the right side and looked back to see the officers gun drawn. I ducked down and started to leave quickly with another person, and as I was leaving, but still close, heard three gunshots.
I saw him in front of the tree, right there with the knife in front of his eye, as I said in our interview before, and so ... and I heard the gun and I saw the gun and him ...
Woodward at that point I was leaving. I didn't see anything that was going on back here. I fell on the floor right about here and there were no policemen in my way.
source:12/2 interview p.15-16
... how much time do you think went by an ... between
the time you got up and you were leaving so your back
was turned form the action itself, between the time
the shots were ... were fired?
Let's see ... I just got up and turned ... two steps and I was on the floor. ... Two or three steps and I was on the floor. ... After the shot.
After the shot.
The minute I heard the first shot. But It happened so quickly. ...
source:3/12 interview
The last time he saw Woodward before the shots, Woodward was to the right of the podium, seating talking to M.I.
Because of the angle that the suspect was to him was that it appeared and it was more of an assumption that he was holding the knife to his temple because he couldn't really see exactly.
"Not looking at Woody I don't think. My eyes had been moving around" Looked back at Woody after first shot saw upper body moving in a way suggesting he had been hit, contorting, body was reacting, he was not actually moving.
He remained seated throughout there were people in front of him could see Woody only from waist up. Prior to first shot Woody standing. He had been moving arm with knife in an arc downward and upward several times
I don't know if I was actually looking at him or the policemen. I think I was watching the police.
Were the policemen in between your view of Woody?
The moment the shots were fired, where were you looking?
Right at the policeman.
Which Police Officer?
Well, the lead one, you couldn't ... they fanned out, you know.
source:12/2 interview, p.6
I can't tell you the back and forth movement, if he moved forward or if the police moved forward. I could not tell you that. I don't have a clear recollection of that. I can't tell you their movements. I was more focused on what he was doing and I was also focused on getting the people out. It would only be a peripheral view.
Did Woody turn the knife toward the officers and walk 
toward them or is that the part you're not sure of
what happened?
That's the part I'm not sure, cause I turned ... I turned to the people beside me and I said we have to go now. There's on part there I don't know exactly what happened, but I do know, looking up when he did have the knife. It was not in his eye, he had the knife forward and then it was very ... there was movement ... the police were moving forward.
source:12/2 interview
I watched the first gun shot. At that time I realized that I needed to get out because Woody still had not dropped the knife even after the first shot was fired, from what I recall. ... And he (another parishioner) and I both went down to the floor and covered our heads for safety and then whenever we heard, I heard, I thought I heard five gun shots and I got up.
source:12/2 interview
When I heard the one gunshot, like I said, I had turned around so I didn't see the other gunshots.
The policeman on the right was blocking my view from seeing where the fourth and any following bullets hit him. But I could see that he was not going down, that he wasn't ...
Could you see Woody the whole time?
Well, except the part of his body that was blocked.
source:12/2 interview
I did not see Bob turn the knife away from himself, though my view was blocked partially by the officers.
My view of his face and body was momentarily blocked by the officers when the first shot rang out, which was followed quickly by two to four more. I was about twelve feet away, and the last view I had of his face was with the knife held towards himself. I cannot say if he turned the knife out or made a threatening move before the first shot was fired.
(at moment of shooting, the officers were blocking your view
of the suspect right before he was shot?)
Ah, to some extent, yes.
Police were directly in front of me. Was not in a position to see what he was doing with the knife.

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