‘We had to pray so we wouldn’t die’: Uvalde remembers hiding under desk during student massacre

A third grade boy who hid at Robb Elementary School after a second grader was attacked by a rabid gunman left to pray “so we don’t die” as police took the shooter out an hour. Previously, he told The Post on Thursday.

They said nine-year-old Leon Hernandez was buried under a desk with a classmate, while 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos entered a classroom elsewhere in the building and killed 19 children and two teachers.

“She was praying and scared,” Leon said of the girl.

Leon said, “I said we should pray so that we don’t die.”

The child spoke to The Post outside Thursday’s vigil for victims held on Main Street in Uvalde.

Leon’s father described a “nightmare” of days and weeks in which his son was shaken inside.

“He said he felt the wind of bullets,” said Cesar Hernandez.

“We don’t think anything like this is ever going to happen here. It’s a small community and we know everyone here.”

Local police are investigating how they handled the shooting, after a tactical unit shot 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos more than an hour after the shooting began.

Rob Elementary School third-grader Leon Hernandez
Leon Hernandez believes he shouldn’t have learned about guns at an early age.
James Keevom for the NY Post
State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D - San Antonio, talks to Leon Hernandez,
Texas State Sen. Roland Gutierrez talks to Leon Hernandez.
Austin American-Statesman/USA Today Network

Hernandez claims he received a text alert from the school less than 20 minutes after the shooting began, assuring parent Rob was in lockdown, but students and staff were safe in the building.

“We got a text message, so we thought it was okay,” he said. “We got a text message and I was like, everything is normal.”

All was not well on the school grounds as Leon and his classmates were in the playground when a coach asked them to run.

text message about texas shooting
Leon’s father said that the first text messages from schools gave the family false hope that everything was handled.
James Keevom for the NY Post

“I can hear gunshots and people are shouting ‘Come into the room,'” he said. “While we were running I heard gunshots and a bullet passed me.”

They went into hiding for “an hour and 20 minutes” when Leon and the girl said what they said, until an officer came to escort them to safety, he said.

Others, he said, didn’t make it out alive, like his friend Jose Flores.

Jose Flores
Jose Flores was one of the victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Jose Flores Mr.

The student is now well aware of the ongoing debate over the numerous mass shootings across the country.

“We shouldn’t learn about guns and stuff,” he said in a low voice.


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