Police Enter the Church
At the time that the three police officers entered the church Woody was seated next to Michael Italia behind the podium. Woody had put away his knife, and Michael Italia was dialing numbers on a cell phone at Woody's request in order to verify his identity. At that time Polly Wilson thought to herself that everything was going wonderfully well and that "everything was under control".
The first officer to arrive was officer Hollbrook, who waited in the hall for the other two officers to arrive. He poked his head around the entrance to the sanctuary, and Tommy Thomas asked him to get back, not to let Woody see him. Hollbrook complied, but it was too late, as Woody had seen him, and he jumped up and again took the knife out and pointed it at his face. Then, in a very short time, all of the officers were in the room and advancing toward Woody. Polly Wilson's impression was of a big mass of blue that "seemed overwhelming". They had American flags on their chests. Some witnesses remember the police shouting as they advanced, but several could not understand the words they were saying. Then within a very short time several shots were fired. Norman Hunt and several other witnesses assumed the shots were blanks.
The voicemail message, that apparently started recording the sounds in the room immediately after attack, gives a sense of the forcefulness of the officers. On it loud shouts of "get back" and "handcuffs" can be heard, while Woody can be heard to say "It's a political assassination".