The 11-year-old boy who survived a shooting that left seven people dead in an Atlanta home was dragged through the house by the gunman as he killed six of the boy's relatives.
Santonio Lucas told police his mother's boyfriend was angry that she wanted to end their relationship.
The boyfriend, Cyrano Marks, herded the family into the master bedroom Monday, but the mother, Deleane Briskey, her sister and four children scattered when he pulled out a pistol.
"They all tried to run, but none were able to escape the house," police spokesman Deputy Chief C.B. Jackson said.
Santonio, a smart, happy-go-lucky boy who enjoys Nintendo and basketball, told police his harrowing tale from a hospital bed, and Jackson recounted it today.
When the family scattered, Marks dragged Santonio with him from room to room as he shot members of the family. Santonio managed to break free and run into a closet. Marks found him, placed a pillow in front of the boy's face and pulled the trigger. The weapon jammed. Marks stepped back, fiddled with the gun and fired again. The bullet smashed through the boy's elbow.
Santonio fell to the ground and played dead. Moments later he heard another shot. Marks had turned the gun on himself, but Santonio did not know it.
Not knowing the killer was dead, he huddled in a closet for eight hours before running to the home of Eugene Broadus.
Broadus heard the shots at 6:45 a.m. but assumed they were firecrackers. Broadus was gone when Santonio knocked on his door around 2:30 p.m. He said his wife told him that the little boy said, " `Would you help me? My stepdaddy just killed my mom, my auntie and all my family.' He was just sucking his thumb the whole time."
Briskey, 33, had been dating Marks for about a year, neighbors said. Four times in recent months, police had been called to the house -- twice after fights between Marks and Santonio's father, David Lucas.
Lucas, the father of two of the dead children, said Briskey recently told Marks the relationship was over.
In addition to Briskey, the victims were: Craig DeCarlo Briskey, 15; Tasha Briskey, 16; David Antonio Lucas Jr., 13; and Antuan Lucas, 9. Also killed was Essie Jo Hugley, 37, Briskey's sister.