The daughter of an Oregon pastor survived the horrific shooting at Umpqua Community College last Thursday by pretending she was dead after being covered by the blood of a fellow student next to her who was shot and killed.
Lacey Scroggins, the 18-year-old daughter of Oregon Pastor Randy Scroggins, felt the body of her classmate, Trevin, on her as she pretended to be dead while 26-year-old shooter Chris Harper Mercer went on a killing spree that left 10 dead and seven injured.
"She said after [a] loud bang 'I felt Trevin's body. I felt the weight [of it]. It's almost like he had stopped breathing but he was on me and I looked under my left arm and all that blood from Trevin was coming under my arm.' And she said, 'I knew then that I was going to die,'" said Scroggins as he described his daughter's experience to CNN during an interview earlier this week.
The shooter believed he had killed Scroggins during the melee and left her among the bodies, according to the report.
Scroggins also shared his daughter's experience during his sermon at New Beginnings Church of God on Sunday while discussing the possibility of forgiving the shooter, according to an ABC News.
"Someone asked me, 'Can you forgive the shooter?'" said Scroggins to the congregation. "I don't focus on the man. I focus on the evil that was in the man."
Mercer's motives for the shooting were unclear, but witnesses' have said he was specifically targeting Christians.
Anastasia Boylan, 18, survived the shooting after being shot in her spine and recounted the tragedy to her father, Stacey, before going into surgery on Thursday.
Mercer entered the classroom firing his gun before pointing it at the professor who became his first victim, according to Boylan. The students dropped to the ground while the gunman reloaded his handgun.
Mercer commanded them to stand up and asked if they were Christians.
"And they would stand up and he said, 'Good, because you're a Christian you're going to see God in just about one second,'" Boylan said his daughter told him. "And then he shot and killed them."
Christian leaders around the U.S., including Harvest Church Pastor Greg Laurie, have labeled the shooting as "persecution of Christians in America."
"What we are seeing is persecution against Christians in the United States of America," said Laurie in an exclusive column published by The Christian Post. "We read daily stories of our brothers and sisters being martyred for their faith in Christ in the Middle East by groups like ISIS, but now it has come to our shores."
After such shootings, the question always asked is, "Why?" added Laurie. "Mental health and gun control solutions are usually brought up but the one thing you rarely hear said is, 'It happened because people are evil.'"
Mercer, who is reported to have committed suicide after engaging in a firefight with police, left a note behind which stated that he expected to be "welcomed in hell and embraced by the devil."
Laurie commented on the statement.
"I can assure you that he will get far worse than he wished for in the afterlife," he continued. "There will be no welcome and no embrace. Just darkness and separation from God."
The pastor also encouraged the families of believers who were killed by Mercer by stating that their loved ones "were welcomed into Heaven by the Lord."
"Considering that these brave souls would not deny their faith, even at the threat of death, how much more should we be bold in our faith and speak up for Jesus?" added Laurie.