UVALDE, Texas — A mother who pulled her fourth-grade daughter out of class minutes before Tuesday’s massacre in Texas that killed 19 of her classmates, including four relatives, and two teachers, has struggled with “overwhelming guilt.” because of her life-saving decision.
Mia and her daughter Evalynn spoke to The Post from Uvalde on Thursday on the day Evalynn was due to hold an annual sleepover to celebrate the last day of school with her best friend Layla Salazar, who was killed in the attack.
“I can’t eat, couldn’t think because of the overwhelming guilt,” said Mia, who didn’t want her family’s last name published.
“I was able to take my daughter, but what could have happened if we were only five minutes late?
“There is so much guilt right now. My heart goes out to all families who are suffering. … And now we have to attend 11 funerals.”
Mia said they are related to four of the young schoolchildren who were gunned down by gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, who stormed Evalynn’s classroom just minutes after she pulled her daughter from Robb Elementary School to go out for lunch.
The exact relationship between the family and the young victims was unclear.
Teacher Alfonso Reyes’ fourth grade had just finished the awards ceremony before the terror unfolded. Several parents who attended the ceremony chose to take their children home for the day, including Mia.
Mia and Evalynn left school to eat at the nearby Sunrise Restaurant after the awards ceremony, where Layla was highly decorated.
“When I was at the awards, I was so happy for her because she got five awards,” recalls Evalynn.
Before leaving for lunch, Evalynn stopped at her classroom at around 11:05 a.m. to get her school supplies, Mia said.
“We ended up speaking to the teacher, Mr. Reyes, and he let us know that the door would be unlocked so she could get her backpack. He said we were more than welcome to go back there to get Evalynn’s stuff, sign her off and leave,” he said.
About 25 minutes later, Ramos reached the school and opened fire, police said. Reyes was injured in the attack but recovered in hospital.
Mia and Evalynn were sitting down to eat around 11:30 a.m. when they heard a lot of noise coming from the radio of a Border Patrol agent who was eating at a table near them.
“Suddenly we kept hearing sirens. It’s pretty common in our town, but these sirens seemed different,” Mia said.
“We kind of dismissed it at first, but a border guard sat next to us and his radio kept going off. At first he listened, but he quickly hurried away. They told him he could pay later.”
Mia said she was alarmed at this point. A few minutes later, she received an automated call from the school saying the school was on lockdown.
“We started shaking because we were so worried about Layla, and of course the other kids,” Mia said. “But of course Evalynn said, ‘Please! I hope my friend Layla is safe!’”
Mia said Evalynn started sobbing so loud for her best friend Layla that they left the restaurant.
Hours later, they would find out that Layla was one of the students who was shot in the same classroom they were in earlier in the day.
“When I heard about the active shooting I was devastated. I could not bear it. She was my only best friend that I had,” Evalynn said.
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Mia choked back tears because Layla asked to go home with them, but Mia said she couldn’t just leave school without her parents knowing.
Evalynn said she planned a sleepover with Layla on Thursday to celebrate the last day of school.
“What I loved about Layla was that she was always there for me,” Evalynn said.
She called me every day after school and we played a game called Roblox…we stayed up all night on the weekends calling and calling [each other].”
“She would never replace me with anyone else [inaudible] and she would never speak badly of me,” said the grieving girl.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/27/texas-mom-pulled-daughter-out-of-class-just-before-shooting/ Texas mom pulled daughter out of class just before filming