Survivor of 1984 McDonald's massacre speaks out for the first time

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Survivor of 1984 McDonald's Massacre Speaks Out for the First Time

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KSWB) -- Wendy Flanagan had never spoken publicly about surviving the McDonald's massacre until now.

On July 18, 1984, Flanagan was working a cash register at the McDonald's on San Ysidro Boulevard when she went to the back to get more ice when she heard the first of many shots fired by gunman James Huberty.

She and other co-workers hid in a basement closet for more than an hour as Huberty shot men, women and children inside and outside the restaurant. Some of the 21 people who died were employees including Flanagan's best friend at work.

Photos of Flanagan and memorials for the 1984 massacre:

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Survivor of 1984 mcdonald's massacre speaks out
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Survivor of 1984 mcdonald's massacre speaks out
Photo: KSWB
Photo: KSWB
Photo: KSWB
Photo: KSWB
** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, JULY 18 ** Southwestern College students walk past a memorial for the victims of the killings at a McDonald's restaurant, after a ceremony Thursday, July 15, 2004, marking the 20th anniversary of the event in the San Ysidro area of San Diego. James Oliver Huberty shot and killed 21 people at the site in 1984. The restaurant was torn down, and part of the college is on the site. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, JULY 18--FILE ** A police officer leads a bloodied woman away from the scene of a shooting rampage in a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro area of San Diego, Calif., in this July 18, 1984, black and white file photo. On that day 20 years ago, James Oliver Huberty shot and killed 21 people, including five children and six teens, and wounded 19, before being shot and killed by a police sniper. In the years since Huberty's rampage his gruesome death total has been surpassed, but people who study homicides say there is something lasting and shocking about the McDonald's massacre. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, File)
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"My friend next to me she had gold chains on with crosses and the Virgen de Gualdalupe. We held them and we prayed and we prayed the whole time," said Flanagan.

Flanagan's story of survival is part of a documentary film produced by Charlie Minn.

"There are stories about this tragedy that people don't know about, like people shielding their bodies so others wouldn't get shot," Minn said. "I want people to know all of those things about those people."

The film is titled "77 Minutes" after the length of time the massacre lasted.

The movie opens Friday at the UltraStar Mission Valley Hazard Center before it opens nationwide.

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