“‘Everybody’s going to die,’ that’s what he said.”
Rosanne Solis was inside a Baptist church in Texas when a shooter burst through the doors, having already opened fire outside. While her memory of the day is strong, she has no actual recollection of the gunman’s face. That’s because she was too scared to look up.
“I was hiding under the bench. I did not want to breathe,” Solis said of Sunday’s rampage in Sutherland Springs. “I knew that was going to be my last day to live.”
More than 48 hours later, Solis is bloodied but alive, able to recount the deadly Sunday for CNN’s Sara Sidner.
“All these people screaming and bleeding,” she remembered, vividly pairing those details with others of shots firing all around her. “The bullets were coming right down… I could see it on the carpet. I thought, if I don’t move from here, I’m going to die.”
Though Solis survived, she was shot and bears a gaping wound in her arm. The injury serves as a painful reminder of the bullet that tore through her flesh and the day that will scar her long after the injury heals.
“He was just shooting – ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta – at everybody, everything that could move or he could see,” Solis told Sidner from her home in Sutherland Springs.
Though she was certain she would soon be killed, Solis pretended to be dead on the carpet, waiting as many as 20 minutes before ultimately summoning the bravery to rise from the church floor. What she saw, however, may have been even more harrowing than the shooting itself.
“Blood, dead people, dead bodies, dead children all over the place,” she said.
Authorities placed the death toll at 26, including an unborn child. The dead parishioners from First Baptist Church ranged in age from 17 months to 77 years old. About 20 worshippers were wounded.
Solis calmly recalled the scene as she sat on her couch across from Sidner. Forgetting the ugly imagery will be much harder.
“It was something that I don’t want to think about anymore,” she said. “It’s always going to be there.”