An unlikely hero emerged during Wednesday’s hostage situation in Antioch: Two witnesses tell NBC Bay Area, if it wasn't for their dog, Cash, things may have turned out differently.
The two women said they came face to face with the suspect. They say he tried to carjack them, but their 7-year-old pit bull scared him away.
“It was surreal,” Tammy Jones said. ”We were on our knees, praying, crying and saying 'this is really happening right now.'"
Jones said she and a friend were at the ARCO gas station on Contra Loma Boulevard about noon, when they saw a car come down the Highway 4 L Street off-ramp, and watched as the driver crashed his car into the center divide.
Karen was outside the car. Tammy was in the passenger seat, with their dog, Cash. Tammy said, as the gunman got closer, Cash looked crazed, spinning around in a circle.
“I honestly didn't see the gun at first,” Jones said. “I saw the cops behind him. I saw his gun out chasing him and that's when I started yelling to her outside the station, ‘He's got a gun out, get down.’ It was crazy. It was crazy.”
That's when the two women say the gunman headed right towards them.
“He tried to come up to the window, and he had his gun out, and I just said to the dog, ‘Get him,’ and he got up to the window and the guy stopped in his tracks,” Jones said. "He turned around and tried to get into another car. There were no keys in it though."
They say they don't even want to think about what could have happened if Cash wasn't with them.
California Highway Patrol officers said they were able to rescue everyone at the gas station, including two children who were inside a vehicle when the suspect showed up.