Texas shooting survivor recalls how his heroic grandmother shielded him and saved his life

DCNFAmber Randall, DCNF

A 56-year-old Sunday school teacher threw herself over the body of her grandchild to protect him as a gunman opened fired on a small town Texas church last Sunday.

Hero Peggy Warden and grandson Zach Poston. Image: Screen shot.

Peggy Warden jumped to shield her 18 year-old grandson, Zach Poston, as former Air Force member Devin Patrick Kelley shot up the First Baptist Church, relatives told The Associated Press Thursday.

“Basically, Peggy stood up and just shielded over him while the shooter was shooting. And when she got hit in the back he said he turned — because he heard her — and when he turned to see if she was OK, she passed away immediately,” Jimmy Stevens, Warden’s brother, said.

Poston apparently relayed his version of events to family members while he has been recovering from his injuries in the hospital. Poston suffered injuries to his leg and arm during the shooting, but still tried to save the life of a small child who was trying to leave the hiding place from underneath the pew. Poston managed to move him back under the pew for safety with his leg, causing Poston to get shot in his leg.

“He will recover physically at some point; we just don’t know what that point will be,” Stevens said. “Our prayers and concerns are going to be for him and those others in there because of the mental and heartfelt torture they went through. It’s still going to be in their mind,” Stevens added.

Kelley fatally shot 26 people Sunday during an attack on the church. Authorities believe the motive stemmed from a domestic dispute; Kelley already had previous convictions due to fracturing the skull of his infant stepson.

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