January 10th, 2011
11:40 AM ET

Witnesses recount how Arizona gunman was wrestled to the ground

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Within seconds after the shooting began, at least one man who was grazed by a bullet grabbed the gunman, a middle-aged woman snatched ammunition away from him, and a group of people held him down while another man grabbed the gun out of his hand, a man and a woman who helped subdue the shooter told CNN Sunday.

"It was so surreal. You don't believe what's really happening in front of you. People are really dying," said Joe Zamudio, one of the people who helped restrain the suspect. "As the police took him away, I looked up and it was just - it hit me like a ton of bricks. All these people that were wounded, and all these people's lives were changed in an instant."

Zamudio had been inside a nearby Walgreens when he heard the shots ring out.

"I ran outside towards the shots and when I rounded the corner, the first thing I saw was the people wrestling with the gunman. Behind that it was just kind of like people laying everywhere and kind of falling and crawling. Kind of realizing you had been shot is a weird thing to go through, I think. The people didn't really know. They were saying, 'What happened? What was that?' And then it started, a lot of 'I'm bleeding.' Like, this is real - this is real. And then it was just, you know, 'Where's the ambulances?' It was just like nobody really knew what was going on. Nobody could really come to terms with it for minutes it seemed like. Nobody really kind of realized the massiveness of what happened."

"What really scared me," Zamudio said, was seeing a middle-aged, "maybe elderly woman," wrestling the next magazine away from the gunman. "I realized he was trying to reload his gun ... I just kind of fell on him too, like kind of put my weight over him, and made sure the gun was down and out of play."

The woman was Patricia Maisch, who said she didn't have time to think about what she was doing.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
January 10th, 2011
11:30 AM ET
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