There are tales of death at the site of the Sutherland Springs mass shooting but there are also tales of survival.
“I can’t even imagine being there and the trauma everyone’s going through,” said David Brown, the son of one of the survivors.
David’s mother Farida is recovering at Connally Medical Center in Floresville. He made the drive from Houston on Sunday night, not knowing if his mother would be alive when he got there.
“This was the longest three-hour drive I’ve ever taken,” he said.
The family is not ready to release her photo yet but they say that she has survived her surgery after being shot four times in her legs.
Farida was inside First Baptist Church when the suspect walked in and started shooting.
“Service was going as usual and next thing you know, they hear gunshots coming in from the outside windows,” David described. “Then the shooting comes in the back door. She’s on the very back pew, got a lady to her left, Sunday school teacher’s to her right. He yells, ‘Get on the floor!’
“Through what she’s told me, she only saw the guy’s boots walking around everywhere and hear him go row to row shooting people that were down on the ground for safety and cover. I just can’t imagine.”
He says that Farida watch the woman next to her die.
“The shooter was making his rounds and he ended up there and started shooting this lady multiple times. And the lady looked at my mom the whole time and my mom was looking at her, telling her, ‘it’s okay, you’re going to go to heaven,’” David said. “She knew it was her turn next to be shot and so she just started praying that God would take her soul to heaven.”
But then a miracle happened in the midst of the madness.
“Somebody with a gun was at the door, so he turned his focus off of her and went to deal with the guy with the gun at the door,” David said.
Investigators say that the man was a neighbor with his own AR-15 who shot the suspect and caused him to flee. He saved lives, including David’s mother.
“She didn’t think she was going to survive,” he said. “And she thinks it was God’s mercy. She just got lucky.”
Doctors say that Farida is incredibly lucky. She's expected to make a full recovery and be walking normally again in two to three weeks.