CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - "Seventy-seven shots. I was just waiting on my turn."
With so many stories about the Emanuel 9, the nine parishioners of Mother Emanuel AME church who were gunned down after a Bible study last summer, it may be easy to forget there were survivors of the shooting.
Felicia Sanders, her 11-year-old granddaughter and Polly Sheppard continue to live with the memory of the night of June 17.
"I kept praying under the table," Sheppard says. "The Lord kept me calm."
Sanders' son, 26-year-old Tywanza Sanders, protected her from the gunman, but died doing so.
"He will always be my hero," she says. "I never thought in my wildest nightmare that I would lose my child, my friends at Bible study. That's the part that I can't get past."
Gov. Nikki Haley referred to the women in her State of the State address last month. Sanders and Sheppard were among the guests attending the speech.
"Just as the nine we lost inform my belief that angels must exist in Heaven, these two women, and the precious little one who was with them that night, are proof that we have angels living here on Earth," Haley said.
Tune in Thursday night for Live 5 News at 7:30, when two of the three survivors tell their powerful story of what happened inside the church that night, how it has impacted them in the months since the tragedy and their path to forgiveness.