A 37-year-old mother who survived being shot a dozen times when a suspect opened fire inside Cincinnati’s Fifth Third building earlier this month said she pleaded with police “to save” her because she had two kids “who need their mother.”
Whitney Austin, a bank executive, recalled the moments leading up to the harrowing Sept. 6 shooting during a Wednesday interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Austin, who had been focused on a conference call when she arrived to work, said “it felt like a burning sensation” when she was shot upon walking into the building.
Austin said she feared that she was “dying” once she started coughing up blood and wanted to reach out to her loved ones.
“I assumed he saw me move and he shot me several more times,” Austin recalled, adding that she then pretended to be dead.
That is, until she noticed Cincinnati police and pleaded with an officer.
“I have a 5- and a 7-year-old who need their mother,” she recalled saying at the time. “You need to save me! Come get me!”
Police ultimately killed the suspect, Omar Enrique Santa Perez, 29, after he killed three others and wounded Austin and another individual. Austin was initially listed as being in critical condition after the shootings and was released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center days later after undergoing several hours of surgery.
Recounting her experience, Austin told WDRB that “there's absolutely no other explanation other than believe its a miracle."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.