A 10-year-old boy who was in the classroom stormed by a gunman who killed 19 of his fellow students said he survived the massacre only because he pretended to be dead.
“[The shooter] came in and said, ‘You’re all gonna die,’ and just started shooting,” Samuel Salinas, said in an interview Friday on “Good Morning America.”
Salinas was a student in Irma Garcia’s fourth-grade class at Robb Elementary School. Garcia’s classroom was the one the shooter, Salvador Ramos, barricaded himself in when he entered the school.
According to Salinas, the day started with an awards ceremony then progress like a any other school day until his teacher announced that the school was in lockdown.
“It was a normal day until my teacher said we’re on severe lockdown,” Salinas said, “and then there was shooting in the windows.”
Salinas said the gunman came into his classroom, closed the door and told them, “You’re all going to die,” before opening fire.
“He shot the teacher and then he shot the kids,” Salinas said. Garcia, along with fellow teacher Eva Mireles, were killed in the shooting.
Salinas said he believed he would be shot by the gunman.
“I think he was aiming at me,” Salinas said. A bullet struck the chair that was between Salinas and the gunman, and he was hit with shrapnel that struck his thigh.
Salinas then pretended to be dead.
“I played dead so he wouldn’t shoot me,” he said. He added that he was not the only one in the classroom who did so.
Miah Cerillo was in Salinas’ classroom when the shooter burst in. According to her aunt, she played dead, as well, hoping Ramos would be fooled into thinking she had been shot and killed.
“Miah got some blood and put it on herself so she could pretend she was dead,” Rivera told KXAS-TV. “It’s too much for me to play that scene over and over again, but that’s what my sister-in-law said is that she saw her friend full of blood and she got blood and put it on herself.”
Eventually, police were able to shoot and kill Ramos and get into the room to get the children out.
As police rushed him out of the room, Salinas could not help but see the bodies of his teacher and other students.
“There was blood on the ground,” he recalled. “And there were kids […] full of blood.”