(ROSEBURG, Ore.) — A student who survived the deadly shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College by pretending to be dead told ABC News about the events on that fateful day.
“I could hear everyone breathing hard and freaking out and crying,” Anastasia Boylan, 18, said. “And he [the gunman] asked everyone to move to the center of the classroom, so we all kind of army-crawled to the center.”
Boylan said she didn’t think she was going to make it.
“Last thing I remembered praying was that my family and my loved ones and that the family and loved ones of my peers would somehow know that we’re all OK,” she said, “and that they could somehow find peace.”
From her wheelchair inside the Oregon hospital that helped save her from a gunshot wound to the back, Boylan recounted the terrifying nine minutes inside the Roseburg school last Thursday, when gunman Chris Harper-Mercer, 26, opened fire, killing nine people before shooting himself to death.
Boylan said he even spoke to them. “He sounded really deranged,” she said, “because he said he had been waiting to do that for a really long time and he laughed.”
The shooter picked out one student specifically to be the one who would live to tell the tale, she added.
“He said, ‘The kid in the glasses, get up. I need you to do me a favor. Today’s your lucky day,’ and hands him this like business envelope.”
Boylan also said the man had a question for each of his victims.
“He had us all get up one by one and asked us what our religions were,” Boylan said.
One student was shot when said his religion. “The shooter said that he would only feel pain for a couple of seconds and that he would be with God soon and then he shot him,” Boylan recalled.
Boylan played dead as the suspect called out to her and kept her eyes shut. And then it was over.
“All of a sudden I heard that one kid in my class say that he was dead, ‘He’s dead, he’s shot in the head, everything’s OK.’ I didn’t want to open my eyes. I did and I looked around the classroom and it was horrible. It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
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