A third-grade boy who hid in Robb Elementary School after a crazed gunman attacked another class was left to pray “so we don’t die” as an hour passed before cops took out the shooter, he told The Post on Thursday.
Nine-year-old Leon Hernandez ducked under a desk with a girl classmate while 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos marched into a classroom elsewhere in the building and killed 19 children and two teachers, he said.
“She was praying and scared,” Leon said of the girl.
“I said we had to pray so we don’t die,” Leon said.
The child spoke to The Post outside a Thursday vigil for the victims held on Main Street in Uvalde.
Leon’s father described the “nightmare” of the day and the week, with his son shaken to the core.
“He said he felt the air of the bullets,” Cesar Hernandez said.
“We don’t think anything like this is ever going to happen here. This is a small community and we know everyone here.”
Local cops are under intense scrutiny for how they handled the shooting, with more than an hour from the start of the shooting until the moment a tactical unit fatally shot 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos.
Hernandez claims he got a text alert from the school less than 20 minutes from the start of the shooting that assured parents Robb was under lockdown but students and staff were safe in the building.
“We got a text message so we thought it was OK,” he said. “We got a text message and I was like OK everything is normal.”
Everything was not OK on school grounds as Leon and his classmates were on a playground when a coach told them to run.
“I can hear gunshots and people screaming ‘get in the room,’” he said. “When we were running I heard gunshots and a bullet passed me.”
That’s when Leon and the girl hid for what he said was “an hour and 20 minutes” until an officer came to lead them to safety, he said.
Others, like his friend Jose Flores, didn’t make it out alive, he said.
The student is now acutely aware of the continuing debate over multiple mass shootings across the country.
“We shouldn’t be learning about guns and stuff,” he said in a low voice.