Compassion by the Congregation
The members of the congregation who chose to stay with Woody in the sanctuary did so out of compassion for him. Several went beyond just honoring his request to stay and actively engaged him. Jane Worley moved into the front row close to Woody and told him that he was scaring people, to which Woody responded by putting the knife away, apologizing, and explaining that he was taking desperate measures because he had been threatened. Jane remained up front, ready to offer assistance, until the officers advanced on Woody in the moments before the fatal assault.
Michael Italia came forward and persuaded Woody to sit down in a seat next to him behind the podium. He then assisted Woody by obtaining a cell phone from another parishioner and dialed two numbers Woody gave him. The second call was in the process of connecting when the police entered.