8-Year-Old And Her Father Survive Buffalo Mass Shooting By Hiding In A Cooler

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Multiple People Injured After Mass Shooting At Buffalo Food Market

John Normile


8-year-old Londin Thomas was with her parents shopping at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo on May 14, when the shooter opened fire, killing 10 people. While speaking with ABC News affiliate WKBW, the young, brave survivor said she and her father hid in a cooler as the shooter carried out the vicious attack.

“We went to the back of the store where the milk is,” the young girl recalled of the scary incident. “The door was locked, and we could not get out until the manager opened the door. Then, we had to go out the back door. The cops led us out.”

According to Londin, she and her parents went to Tops that day to buy cake mix for her “mama.”

“She did not know. She was at the meat section, so we could grill,” she continued, but just as the family separated, the gunman began shooting.

Londin’s mom, Julie Hartwell, ducked for cover at the front of the store. She recalled hearing “Gallons of milk” exploding as bullets flew in all directions around the market. Hartwell panicked when she could hear the suspect’s footsteps getting closer.

“My first instinct was dropping down to the floor on my chest, not really trying to put my head up, not really trying to look at anything, just focusing on trying to get somewhere safe. But at the same time, I’m worried about my daughter,” Hartwell told the news outlet.

Londin said she was scared for her mother.

“I did not know what happened to her because she was at the front and I was at the back. I didn’t know where she was. I thought she was gone.”

Thankfully, Londin and her parents made it out of the building safely. Londin and her dad exited from a different side of the building than her mother, which initially sent Hartwell into panic, as she was separated from her loved ones for at least 20 minutes–“the longest wait” of her life she said.

“Twenty minutes later, they gave me my daughter.”

Throughout the horrific incident, Londin said she remained calm and felt comfort knowing her dad was with her.

“People say I’m a really brave girl,” she said, before letting the world know that she was “fine.”

“I’m okay. There’s nothing wrong with me,” the young hero added.


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