By Brian New


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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Agustin Pinales will tell any stranger he believes in the power of prayer.

As part of the Antioch Church’s street ministry team, Pinales approaches strangers on the streets of downtown Dallas asking them if he can pray for them.

Little did he know last Thursday as he was praying near the West End DART station, it was his family that would soon be in need of prayers.

“We thought they were fireworks,” Pinales said when he first heard what turned out to be gunfire. “We weren’t really concerned until I walked around the corner and saw a crowd of people running.”

With his wife and two young daughters, ages four and two, they ran towards their car parked in a nearby lot – not knowing at the time they were running directly towards the shooter.

“The shots were so loud it sounded like they were going over your head,” said Pinales.

His wife, Yajaira, and his two daughters initially took cover behind a car.

All the while just feet away across the street inside an El Centro College building, gunman Micah Johnson was taking aim at officers.

“I tried to stay calm and just pray,” Yajaira Pinales said. “I was afraid because I didn’t want to get shot in front of my daughters, and for them to live with that and be traumatized all their lives with it.”

The Pinales family worked their way to their car where they hid on the floorboards as officers and the gunman continued to exchange shots.

During a brief pause in the gunfire, the Pinales family made a run for it. Agustin Pinales said they drove away from the scene too afraid at the time to look back.

It wasn’t until hours later that Pinales said he had a chance to reflect on what had happened.

“To figure out the aftermath and realize how close we were and how we were running towards the shooter, just has me in awe of how God really did protect us.”

At church on Sunday the Pinales said the first person they will be looking for is injured DART officer, Misty McBride. She was one of seven officers injured Thursday. She also works security and attends Antioch Church with the Pinales.

“We just want to thank her and all the officers,” said Pinales – adding those officers were his answered prayers.

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