Only one child made it out alive of a first-grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week — by fooling the gunman into thinking she was dead, the family's pastor says.
The little girl, who is 6½ years old but hasn't otherwise been identified, "ran out of the school building covered in blood from head to toe, and the first words she said to her mom when she got outside was, 'Mommy, I'm OK, but all of my friends are dead,'" the Rev. Jim Solomon, pastor of New Hope Community Church in Newtown, Conn., told ABC News in a report that aired Sunday.
"Of those who were left in the classroom of first graders, she was the lone survivor," Solomon said. (Law enforcement officials and witnesses say seven pupils survived in a second classroom by hiding in a closet.)
"Somehow, in that moment, by God's grace she was able to act as if she was already deceased," said Solomon, who spoke at the community interfaith vigil Sunday night on the same program as President Barack Obama.
Solomon said the little girl couldn't have survived "outside of divine intervention."
"She has wisdom beyond her years," he said.
The girl's parents were understandably relieved and grateful, Solomon said, but her mother told him "she was suffering from what she called 'survivor's guilt,' because so many of their friends no longer have their children, but she has hers."
Solomon couldn't be reached for comment Monday, and NBC News hasn't been able to verify his account.
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