Speaking from the Oregon hospital where she’s recovering from a gunshot wound to her back, the 18-year-old fought back tears as she recalled the scene in her Writing 115 class and the actions of gunman Chris Harper-Mercer.
“I could hear everyone breathing hard, and freaking out and crying, and he asked everyone to move to the center of the classroom, so we just sort of army crawled to the center,” Boylan revealed. The teenager was only on her fourth day of classes, her brother Korre previously told PEOPLE.
Boylan said Harper-Mercer laughed after shooting the class teacher Larry Levine.
“He sounded really deranged because he said that he’d been waiting to do that for a really long time, and he laughed,” she said, adding that Harper-Mercer revealed he intended to also kill himself.
She said the gunman instructed the students to rise one by one and share what religion they practiced. Boylan said that after the first student shared his beliefs, he was shot.
“The shooter said that he would only feel pain for a couple of seconds and that he would be with God soon, and then he shot him,” she said.
Boylan also echoed reports that Harper-Mercer gave one of her classmates a note for the police.
“He said, ‘The kid in the glasses, get up, I need you to do me a favor, today’s your lucky day,’ and handed him this like business envelope,” Boylan said.
After several minutes of terror, Boylan heard another student in her classroom confirm the shooter’s death.
“I didn’t think I was gonna make it, the last thing I remember praying was that my family and my loved ones and the family and loved ones of my peers would somehow know that we’re okay,” she said.
Nine people were killed in the Roseburg attack, and nine more, including Boylan, were wounded. Authorities said in a press conference on Saturday that the medical examiner ruled Harper-Mercer’s death a suicide, but that the Oregon State Police were still investigating it as an officer-involved shooting.
Umpqua Community College campus will re-open for classes on Monday.
Boylan told Good Morning America that her life is irrevocably changed by the unthinkable events.
“I will never, ever take for granted a second, a minute an hour in the day, again,” she said.
Boylan’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover physical therapy and recovery costs.
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