A fourth-grade student who survived Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, says the gunman told the children: “It’s time to die.”
The survivor, who spoke with CBS affiliate KENS-TV, said he was in a room that shared a door with the classroom where the gunman first barricaded himself in during the shooting. It was at that point, Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety told CBS News, that he “started shooting children and teachers that were inside.”
“He came in and he crouched a little bit and he said, ‘It’s time to die,'” the boy told KENS-TV reporter Henry Ramos. His parents did not want him identified or on camera, but the boy wanted to share what happened.
When he and the other students in the adjoining classroom heard shots being fired, the boy said that he told his friends to hide. He and four others hid under a table that was covered in a tablecloth.
“I was hiding hard,” the boy said. “And I was telling my friend not to talk because he is going to hear us.”
Soon after, police arrived at the scene. An officer told the kids to “Yell if you need help,” the boy recalled.
“One of the persons in my class said ‘help.’ The guy overheard and he came in and shot her,” he said. “The cop barged into that classroom. The guy shot at the cop. And the cops started shooting.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said three officers were injured during the shooting, but that all are in good condition.
When the gunfire stopped, the fourth-grader said he left his hiding spot, alongside his friend. He said he knew it was safe to do so because he saw the officer’s armor and shield. And while it was the officers who stopped the massacre, the boy said it was the teachers, Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles, who saved his and other kids’ lives.
“They were nice teachers,” he said. “They were in front of my classmates to help. To save them.”
That sentiment was shared by the fourth grade teacher Irma Garcia’s nephew, John Martinez. Garcia had four children.
“She sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom,” Martinez tweeted. “Irma Garcia is her name and she died a hero.”
Mireles, 44, was also a fourth grade teacher who had been an educator for 17 years. In a Twitter post, daughter Adalynn wrote that her mom “selflessly jumped in front of her students to save their lives.”
“My beautiful mom, thank you for the funniest memories. Thank you for the best times of my life. Thank you for being my best friend,” she said. “…You are so known by many now and I’m so happy that people know your name that beautiful face of yours and they know what a hero looks like.”