'Angels' Protected Me,' Says 15 Year Old Cassidy Stay Who Survived Texas Shooting that Killed Her Family

( [email protected] ) Jul 14, 2014 11:08 AM EDT
Cassidy Stay
Cassidy Stay speaks during a memorial service at Lemm Elementary School on Saturday in Spring, Texas. (AP)

After surviving a horrific shooting rampage that killed her family, 15 year old Cassidy Stay credits angels for protecting her and says happiness can be found in darkest of times.

One day after her release from the hospital, Cassidy spoke an audience of several hundred at memorial service held to commemorate her family in Spring, Texas:

"Happiness can be found even in darkest of times, if one remembers to turn on the light," the young girl told a crowd at an elementary school in Spring, Texas, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"I'm really thankful for all of the people who have been praying for me and keeping me and my family in their thoughts these past few days," Cassidy continued. "I'm feeling a lot better, and I'm on a straightforward path to recovery."

She also thanked first responders, doctors and well-wishers for their tremendous support throughout the ordeal.

Wednesday night, a gunman killed six people, including his ex-wife's sister and husband and their four children, in a shooting rampage at the Houston, Texas suburb.

Although Cassidy suffered a fracture in her skull caused by a bullet, she survived the ordeal by playing dead. She then called 911 to warn police that the gunman was going to her house next.

"Without her courage and quick thinking we might be mourning the death 20 people today, including myself and nearly all of my children and grandchildren," Stay's grandfather, Roger Lyons, said, according to KPRC-TV.

The young girl's grandfather also said she felt as if angels were telling her to remain quiet during the ordeal.

"We have wondered whether those angels might have been her brothers and sisters," he said. 

According to Daily Mail, Ronald Lee Haskel, 33, entered the house posing as a delivery man and searching for his former wife, Cassidy's mother. He then proceeded to shoot several members of the family. 

Haskel allegedly killed two boys, ages 4 and 14, and two girls, ages 7 and 9 along with Cassidy's parents before surrendering to police after an hours-long standoff.

The shooting made national news, prompting well-wishers from around the globe to donate more than $220,000 to a gofundme.com site that supporters started on the family's behalf.

Many were unsure whether Cassidy would attend the memorial service so soon after the shooting. However, according to Jody Dellinger, who runs a recreation center the family often visited and who started the online fundraiser, family members hadn't planned on attending until Cassidy told them "I'll get on my bike and ride over there if I have to.

"I'll be able to see them again one day," said Cassidy of her slain family.

"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," she continued.

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman said the suspect would be charged with multiple counts of capital murder, according to CBS News.