Texas Shooting Survivor: Angels Protected Me
Plus: Alleged attacker was homecoming king
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 13, 2014 7:02 AM CDT
Cassidy Stay speaks during a memorial service for the Stay family at Lemm Elementary School on Saturday, July 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/Conroe Courier, Michael Minasi)
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(Newser) – The only survivor of a mass shooting near Houston, now out of the hospital, is offering a message of hope after the slaying of her family. Speaking at a public memorial today, Cassidy Stay told listeners that she's "on a straightforward path to a full recovery," KHOU reports. She reportedly played dead during the attack, and she feels as though angels were guiding her, says her grandfather. They were "putting their hands over her mouth, whispering to her to ‘be quiet,'" he says. "She was hurting so bad, but she did feel this presence," adds the president of her church.

Stay has turned to some of her favorite books for help in the aftermath of the tragedy. "I really like Harry Potter,” she said at the memorial. "In The Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore says, ‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.’ I know that my mom, dad, Bryan, Emily, Becca, and Zach are in a much better place and that I’ll be able to see them again one day." Her family's new motto: "Stay strong." Meanwhile, the Alaska Dispatch offers a profile of accused shooter Ron Lee Haskell, noting that he was voted homecoming king and class clown in his high school near Anchorage. "For most who knew him then, it is hard to understand how things could have changed so drastically for him to be where he is now,” notes a classmate.