A mom-of-two who survived the Texas mall shooting has emotionally recalled how a sales associate hid her and 12 others inside a store bathroom – but later lost her life in the bloodbath.
Raquel Lee said she decided to go shopping Saturday at the Allen Premium Outlets in Allen and parked outside of the H&M store shortly before Mauricio Garcia, 33, drove up and opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle, killing eight people and wounding seven others, CBS News Texas reported.
“It sounded like a war zone,” Lee told the news outlet. “It was horrifying and it felt like you were in a dream. Like, just shock.”
Lee shared chilling video of the group sheltering in place inside the storage room, where they are seen making frantic phone calls and sitting on the floor.
“We were in a bathroom closet, and we were just in the closet trying not be heard, crying, praying — people were trying to call 911. We couldn’t dial out,” the visibly emotional woman said.
“I just remember thinking, ‘Oh god! He’s coming in here next.’ I was crouching down like ‘I hope we don’t get hit by a bullet,” Lee told the outlet about the harrowing experience.
“The store associate saved our lives,” she added.
The footage she captured shows the group finally being led out of the room with their hands up after police cleared the bloody scene.
Lee said one of the bodies she saw was that of the heroic store employee.
Two of the dead victims have been identified as 20-year-old security guard Christian LaCour and Aishwarya Thatikonda, an engineer from India who was living and working in Texas.
The feds are investigating whether Garcia, who was shot dead by a police officer, held neo-Nazi views.
During the rampage, Garcia wore a patch on his chest with the acronym “RWDS” which stands for “Right Wing Death Squad” – a popular phrase among white-supremacy groups, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.
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