Young survivors of the massacre at a Texas primary school have begun to share their stories, including a boy who hid centimetres away from the gunman and a girl who said she covered herself with a friend's blood and pretended to be dead while she waited for help to arrive.
A 9-year-old fourth grader at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde told KCEN-TV about how he hid under a table while the gunman killed his friends.
The killer opened the classroom door, “then he came in and he crouched a little bit and he said, 'It's time to die'", the child told the central Texas news station.
“When he shot, it was very loud and it hurt my ears.”
The boy said that a police officer told the children to yell if they needed help. One girl did so and the gunman immediately shot and killed her, the boy said.
Police then killed the attacker, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.
Miah Cerrillo, 11, told CNN that she and a friend called 911 from her dead teacher's phone and waited for officers to arrive.
Ramos was inside the school for more than an hour before he was shot to death by Border Patrol tactical officers. Authorities said he fired more than 100 rounds during the attack.
Officers on Friday attempted to clear up their version of a confusing and sometimes contradictory chronology of events that has angered and frustrated the parents and onlookers who had urged police to charge into the school.
The children who survived the attack, in which 19 children and two teachers were killed, described a festive, end-of-the-school-year day that quickly turned to terror.
Samuel Salinas, 10, told ABC's Good Morning America that he and other classmates pretended to be dead after Ramos opened fire on the class. Samuel was struck by shrapnel in his thigh.
“He shot the teacher and then he shot the kids,” said Samuel, who was in Irma Garcia's class. Garcia died in the attack and her husband, Joe Garcia, died on Thursday of an apparent heart attack.
Gemma Lopez, 10, was in a classroom down the hall when Ramos entered the building. She told Good Morning America that a bullet came through her classroom wall before any lockdown was called.
Her best friend, Amerie Garza, died in the rampage.
The Associated Press continued to this report