'It was the most terrifying experience I've ever been through,' Wabash Valley family put on lockdown during El Paso shooting

A family originally from Terre Haute was just minutes away from the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas Saturday. They share what it was like in those moments of being in lockdown.

Posted: Aug 7, 2019 6:05 PM
Updated: Aug 8, 2019 11:14 AM

EL PASO, TX. (WTHI) - A family originally from Terre Haute said they're lucky to be alive.

That's as the family of seven was on lockdown last weekend during the El Paso, Texas shooting.

Julie Curtis, her husband, and five children live in El Paso.

They were out shopping last weekend at a local mall when a gunman entered Walmart just across the parking lot.

That gunman killed 22 people and injured dozens more.

Curtis said the only thing on her mind was keeping her children safe.

The Curtis family has lived in El Paso for two years.

On Saturday, they were out shopping for school supplies.

In a matter of minutes, everything changed.

"You know he was like you guys need to get to the back of the store. They're saying there's a gunman in the mall. People were running and screaming and saying that they had heard shots fired in the mall," said Curtis.

Many stores in the area were put on lockdown.

Curtis said she was in the employee bathroom with her children and eight other people, but she only had one thing on her mind.

"The only thing I could think of is if this person or people make it back this way what am I going to do to protect my kids?," said Curtis.

"You hear about it you know, and you just you know you never think it could happen to me or my family. You're just like oh my gosh I feel for the people that are in those situations, but you never expect to be in the situation yourself," said Curtis.

Curtis said it was the simple decision to go to the mall for school supplies instead of Walmart that could've kept her family alive.

"Let's just let him pick out a backpack at Walmart. You know those things went through my mind, and for some reason, I was like you know what? I'm just going to grab coffee creamer while we're at Walmart too, so let's just go grab that backpack at Sears and I'll get this later. I definitely feel like either we had an angel looking out for us, or that God was watching over us," said Curtis.

As her family continues to recover after this incident, Curtis said she is sending prayers to all families involved.

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