Uvalde child survived by playing dead after he was shot, then apologized to parents for bloody clothes

Noah Orona is recovering at Methodist Children’s Hospital

Noah Orona recovers at Methodist Children's Hospital in San Antonio after being shot during the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde on May 24, 2022. (Orona family)

SAN ANTONIO – One of the survivors of Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde said he played dead after he was shot in the back.

Noah Orona, 10, is recovering at Methodist Children’s Hospital.

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His parents told ABC News that Noah played dead after he was shot and watched his teacher shield other students from the gunman before getting shot herself. Noah told them that he watched his teacher fall on top of another child and die.

“There was blood everywhere,” he told them.

Noah had a gaping hole where the bullet came out on his shoulder.

His dad said he first saw Noah after the shooting when he had been taken to the Uvalde hospital and was about to be transported to San Antonio.

“I just put my hand on his head and I held him as tight as I could and I kissed his forehead and I told him, ‘Hey, you know, I’m so proud of you.’ I said, ‘You’re a great man,’” Oscar Orona said.

Noah told his father, “Dad, I’m sorry. I got blood all over my clothes.”

When his dad assured him it was OK, Noah said, “Dad, I lost my glasses, too.”

His dad said they’d get new ones.

Noah is understandably shaken up and is not wanting to say much about the shooting that killed 19 of his classmates and two of his teachers.

His parents said Noah did tell them he “waited a long time” before Border Patrol came in the classroom to help.

Noah also asked about his best friend, Samuel Salinas. Samuel also survived the shooting and told ABC News that he thinks the shooter was aiming at him, but the shot was blocked by chairs and he only ended up with fragments in his leg.

Noah Orona and best friend Samuel Salinas survived the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. (Orona family)

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About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.