A Holocaust survivor avoided a likely death after arriving four minutes late to services at the Tree of Life Congregation, the Pittsburgh synagogue where a gunman on Saturday killed 11 people.

Judah Samet, who is 80 years old, was stopped by a police officer after attempting to park in a handicap spot in front of the building.

“There was this guy. Very calm and respectful. [He] told me, you better back up, there is an active shooting going on in your synagogue," he told Jewish news outlet Forward.

Samet said he was friendly with the individuals who were killed during the attack, including 97-year old Rose Mallinger who typically sat behind him.

“If I was inside the synagogue, I would be in the line of fire," he said.

During the shooting, Samet said he was outside and roughly four feet away from a police officer who was under fire from the attacker's automatic weapon.

Members of Samet's family were tortured and murdered by Nazis during the Holocaust. He escaped when Solvakians blew up a railroad line transporting him and his family to Aushwitz.

Samet's mother was an interpreter who "saved hundreds of Jews."

“My mother taught us never listen what they have to say,” he told Forward. “Look at their hands. Because words cannot kill you.”

Samet was planning to recount his family's experience in the Holocaust to a local church on Sunday and said he would bring up the deadly shooting at the synagogue during the discussion.