EL PASO, Texas – As the world tries to come to terms with the shooting that left 22 people dead at a Walmart in El Paso, an employee at the store is being hailed a hero.
Reports say Gilbert Serna helped dozens of people get to safety while shots were ringing out all around him.
“If I’m going to run outside myself I’m going to bring people with me,” Serna told the news station.
Serna talked about the moment he realized a gunman had entered the store.
“There is a guy with an AK 47 shooting up the place and that’s when it registered this is a mass shooting.”
Serna heard the shots ring out for what seemed like hours.
“I’ve watched numerous videos and I’ve heard those gunshots and I’m like that’s exactly what I heard,” he recalled.
Serna says he believes he helped over 60 people get to safety during Saturday’s tragedy.
“I opened the shipping containers that are in the back of the store and I threw the customers in there and I was also at the fire exit waiting for more to come out of the store,” he said.
Serna knew he had more time to save more people inside the store and acted quickly.
“They were just scared. And I was like ‘get in the trailers, get in the trailers,’ and they followed direction and they all got in,” Serna recalled.
After directing people out the back doors and into the trailers outside, Serna then ran around the side of the building alerting more people to run and seek shelter.
“I told everybody, you’ve got to go to Sams, go to Sams and get protection,” he recalled.
CNN reports that as Serna was leading others to safety, a customer stepped in to help.
Adria Gonzalez and her mother were shopping near a meat counter when the shooting began.
Gonzalez, who is an assistant teacher, immediately jumped into action and began guiding people into a storage area nearby, where they waited in until they could no longer hear the gunshots.
“You see this happening in the movies, but when you live it yourself, when you see a person killing, the blood everywhere,” Gonzalez said. “You are in shock.”
Serna says he is happy he saved so many, but the event is something that will impact his life forever.
“There is an image that I don’t want to talk about … But there’s an image that I keep relive and I can’t get it out of my head. Sorry. I just need to know that individual is ok.”
Serna says he hopes to get in touch with those he was alongside during this terrible tragedy.
“We’re El Paso strong…Walmart strong…Store 2201 strong and we’re gonna–we’re gonna rise again.”
Serna said two of his co-workers were injured in the shooting. One is still in the hospital in stable condition and the other has been released.