A 15-year-old girl who survived a shooting rampage by her uncle, who killed her parents and four of his own children, was released from hospital and spoke to a crowd outside a school Saturday, saying happiness can be found in darkest of times. Her grandfather said she recalled feeling as if "angels" were with her.
"Happiness can be found even in darkest of times, if one remembers to turn on the light," Cassidy Stay, who was released from hospital, told a crowd at an elementary school in Spring, Texas, according to the Houston Chronicle.
She was apparently restating a quote by Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter books.
Stay also thanked first responders in her first public appearance since the attack Wednesday night when the gunman killed six people, including four of his children, in a shooting rampage at the Houston, Texas suburb.
She survived a fracture in her skull caused by a bullet.
Stay played dead and called 911 to warn police that the gunman was planning to go to her grandparents' house next, authorities said.
"Without her courage and quick thinking we might be mourning the death 20 people today, including myself and nearly all of my children and grandchildren," Stay's grandfather, Roger Lyons, said, according to KPRC-TV.
Lyons also said that Stay recalled feeling as if angels were with her, asking to her to remain quiet. "We have wondered whether those angels might have been her brothers and sisters," he was quoted as saying.
"I'll be able to see them again one day," Stay said, of her relatives who were killed.
"I know that my mom, dad, Bryan, Emily, Becca, and Zach are in a much better place, and that I'll be able to see them again one day," she said.
The suspect was identified as her aunt's ex-husband, Ron Lee Haskell. He allegedly killed two boys aged four and 14 and two girls aged seven and nine, along with her parents, before surrendering to police following hours-long standoff.
The shooting apparently stems from a domestic issue with a breakup in the family from what a witness has said, according to Assistant Chief Deputy Constable Mark Herman of the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office.
Deputy Thomas Gilliland of the Harris County Sheriff's Office said the children belonged to Haskell and his wife, though the couple were estranged and the wife was out of state at the time of the shooting. Two of the children are said to be adopted. It was also not clear what relationship the two adult victims had with the suspect.
Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman said the suspect would be charged with multiple counts of capital murder, according to CBS News.