Family, Friends of West Texas Shooting Victims Recount Terrifying Moments - NBC Southern California
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Family, Friends of West Texas Shooting Victims Recount Terrifying Moments

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said a 17-month-old girl was recovering, but faced surgery Monday to remove shrapnel from the right side of her chest

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    7 Families Prepare to Say Goodbye to Loved Ones

    As families remember loved ones lost and prayer for others to recover, many say it won't be just about healing physically, but mentally and emotionally after a deadly shooting spree in the Permian Basin. (Published Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019)

    As seven families prepare to bury their loved ones, and nearly two dozen more pray for healing, they're sharing some of the frightening moments Saturday's shooting victims across Midland and Odessa endured.

    Rosie Granados was on the phone with her twin sister, Mary Granados, when the postal carrier's truck was hijacked by shooter Seth Ator.

    "She was just screaming and I was desperate. I was just desperate to go where she was at, go help her, you know," Rosie said.

    Though she could hear voices on the other end, she couldn't make out what they were saying.

    "I was trying to call her name, but she wouldn't answer. She wouldn't answer, so I didn't know if she was okay," Rosie said.

    Eventually, Rosie made it to where Mary was left lying unresponsive on the ground. Bystanders told her about the moment her van was hijacked before the shooter killed her.

    Mary was among seven people between the ages of 15 and 57 killed Saturday. Another 25 were injured, including a toddler.

    "We're broken, you know. We're not going to have her back," Rosie said.

    She said her sister, who'd been with the U.S. Postal Service for a year, would've turned 30 in December.

    U.S. Postal Service officials said in a statement Sunday that they were "shocked and saddened" by the events, but were "especially grieving the loss of our postal family member."

    Mike Barrett said his employer, Cory Edge, also came face to face with the gunman.

    Barrett said Edge and his wife were on their way home Saturday when they pulled over for a speeding white van.

    "They moved over to let it by, and it was the shooter. And he asked them, 'Have you seen what's going on today around town? Have you looked at the news?' And they said, 'No.' And the guy pulled the rifle up and said, 'Have a good day,' and boom. Shot him," Barrett said.

    Barrett said he's worked for Edge for years at Industrial Insulation and Sheet Metal, Inc.

    In February, he said Edge saved his life by performing CPR for 12 minutes after Barrett's heart stopped.

    "He saved my life and I just couldn't believe that he was shot. I was on my knees praying so hard. I was almost yelling, 'No, no. This can't happen to him,'" Barrett said.

    8 Dead After West Texas Shooting

    [NATL] 8 Dead After West Texas Shooting

    Midland police said one shooter was shot and killed at an Odessa movie theater.

    (Published Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019)

    Though he said Edge remained sedated, he said he was stable.

    "I'm hoping he's going to be OK. We're praying, you know. But there's a lot of other people up in there that need praying for, especially the ones that lost their loved ones," Barrett said.

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said a 17-month-old girl named Anderson Davis was recovering, but faced surgery Monday to remove shrapnel from the right side of her chest. She also suffered injuries to her face. Abbott says the girl's mother, Kelby Davis, texted: "Her mouth is pretty bad, but will heal and can be fixed. Thankfully it doesn't seem like her jaw was hit. Just lips, teeth and tongue...We are thanking God for healing her and appreciate continued prayers."

    Twenty-five-year-old Edwin Peregrino ran into the front yard of his parents' home to investigate after he heard gunshots, his sister, Eritizi Peregrino, told the Washington Post. She said the gunman opened fire when he drove past the house, killing Edwin.

    "It happened at our home. You think you're safe at your own house," Eritizi, 23, said in an interview. "You're not even safe at your own house."

    Eritizi's husband also was shot. She said he is recovering.

    Leilah Hernandez, 15, was with her family Saturday as her 18-year-old brother, Nathan, picked up a truck. Nathan and Leilah were shot while walking out of the dealership, her grandmother, Nora Leyva, Leyva told the Post.

    "I guess he was just looking for someone to kill," she said.

    Leyva said Leilah's mother pushed Leilah's 9-year-old brother under a car. Nathan wrapped his arms around Leilah and was shot in the arm. Another bullet struck Leilah near her collarbone.

    Leilah, an Odessa High School student, celebrated her quinceanera in May.

    "It was like a dream for her," Leyva said.

    Odessa High's school district, the Ector County Independent School District, didn't name Leilah, but said one of its students was among those killed.

    Joseph Griffith was killed while sitting at a traffic light with his wife and two children, his oldest sister, Carla Byrne, told the Post.

    "This maniac pulled up next to him and shot him, took away his life, murdered my baby brother. Like nothing," Byrne said. "We are so broken."

    Byrne said Griffith, 40, worked six days a week to support his family.

    Daniel Munoz, 28, who also was injured, recalled the harrowing tale of coming into the path of the gunman, who was later killed by officers. Munoz said he was in his car on the way to meet a friend for a drink, when he yielded to a car coming off Interstate 20. He immediately noticed what he feared to be a barrel of a rifle in the hands of the driver.

    "This is my street instincts: When a car is approaching you and you see a gun of any type, just get down," Munoz, who moved from San Diego about a year ago to work in oil country, told The Associated Press. "Luckily I got down. ... Sure enough, I hear the shots go off. He let off at least three shots on me."

    He's not exactly clear, but it appears one shot hit the engine, another struck the driver's side window and a third a rear window. Some shattered glass punctured his left shoulder, causing him to bleed a lot and go to a nearby hospital. He said he's physically OK but bewildered by the experience.

    "I'm just trying to turn the corner and I got shot -- I'm getting shot at?" Munoz said. "What's the world coming to? For real? I'm just over here minding my own business, getting my own gas."

    The community gathered to pray together at a vigil at University of Texas of the Permian Basin Sunday night.