Texas waitress Brianna Jimenez is a hero after how she responded to an armed, masked man authorities believe could have been on his way to commit a deadly church shooting on Sunday.
According to ABC 13, Jimenez was serving at the Las Mañanitas Mexican restaurant her mother owns in Seguin — northeast of San Antonio, Texas — when a man walked in wearing a surgical mask and sunglasses and headed straight to the eatery’s restroom. The waitress didn’t find his behavior worrying until he came back out and started asking her some unnerving questions about the local churches in the area.
She explained, "He was looking at me and he was saying something about, 'Do you know where the nearest church is at?'"
Thinking he simply wanted to attend a Sunday morning service, she recommended a few churches in the area, but got weirded out when the man kept insisting she drive him to a Baptist one. And then she saw that he was armed.
"He's gripping it, like, he has his finger on the trigger," Jimenez told reporters.
When the man finally left, the waitress had another employee covertly lock the door behind him while she told her mother to call the police.
According to the Seguin Gazette, an off-duty police officer responded first and "observed an oddly dressed male wearing tactical style clothing, a surgical face shield, carrying a loaded firearm and extra ammunition,” Seguin Police spokesperson Tanya Brown said.
As police questioned him, 33-year-old Tony Dwayne Albert II indicated that he was on his way to a church to “fulfill … a prophecy.”
Albert, a convicted felon, was arrested and initially charged with felony possession of a firearm and marijuana possession, ABC affiliate KSAT reported. Authorities are praising Jimenez for being alert and acting quickly on her suspicions.
“This morning, the Seguin Police Department is extremely grateful to the citizen who called police,” Brown said. “If this subject was not stopped and apprehended the results could have ended differently. [Albert] could have carried out a shooting, or he was capable of doing that, because he had a loaded handgun."
Jimenez realizes that, too, and commented to the media that, "Now that I think about it, he could've taken a trip to any church and — a lot of people leave in body bags," Jimenez said. "That kind of hurts me, like, what if? You know what I mean? What if that really happened?"