According to Joaquin Ramirez and his wife, Roseanne Solis, church services at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, began like many other Sunday mornings in the small Texas town.
The couple, who survived the deadly shooting that took the lives of over two dozen parishioners and injured many more, spoke to KSAT-TV in an interview Monday and detailed the horror that unfolded from the moment that shooter Devin Kelley entered the building until the time that they drove themselves to the hospital for medical care.
What did they say?
Solis said that she heard the popping of the gunfire before she saw it.
"I hear firecrackers popping. Ta-ta-ta," she recalled and said that someone shouted for the churchgoers to take cover. "Everybody started screaming, yelling. Everyone got down, crawling under wherever they could hide."
"It was so scary," she added. "He was shooting hard."
Solis, who was hit in the left shoulder, said that at that point, the gunman hadn't even entered the building yet — he was shooting from the outside.
She revealed that for a brief moment, the shots stopped ringing out.
"I thought it was the police when [Kelley] went inside because everyone got real quiet," Solis recalled. "Everyone was saying 'Be quiet. It's him. It's him.'"
According to Solis, it was this moment when the shooter yelled, "Everybody die, motherf***er!" and began shooting inside the church.
Ramirez described the scene as Kelley began shooting inside the building and said that the gunman first attacked the church's camera and audio crew.
He said that Kelley continued to shoot parishioners aisle by aisle and would open fire point-blank on babies who cried.
Ramirez said he recalled locking eyes with Pastor Frank and Sherri Pomeroy's daughter, Annabelle, who was crying for help, and silently warned her to be quiet.
"I was praying to go, to save me, because I could see death," Ramirez said.
Ramirez revealed that he called 911 and reported the incident shortly before 11:30 a.m., and noted that it felt like an eternity for the first responders to arrive on the scene.
Solis and Ramirez eventually ended up driving themselves to the hospital for medical treatment.
"The Lord saved me because I know it was my last day," Solis said.
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