A survivor of the McDonald's massacre Monday became the...

SAN DIEGO -- A survivor of the McDonald's massacre Monday became the fourth person to dispute San Diego police accounts that all the killing was done in the first five minutes, saying swifter police action could have saved lives.

'I got shot in the first 15 minutes and again 45 minutes later,' Ronald Herrera, 33, told the San Diego Union in an interview from his hospital bed in Santa Ana, Calif.


'There were bullets whistling by me, at other people, one hour or so later.'

On July 18, James Oliver Huberty, 41, an unemployed security guard who had said 'society had their chance' after a mental health clinic failed to return his call for help the day before, blasted away with three weapons in the restaurant for at least 73 minutes. He killed or fatally wounded 21 persons and wounded 19 others.

Six hours after Huberty was killed by a SWAT team marksman, police Cmdr. Larry Gore told newsmen the killer 'shot all the people the moment he went in -- in the first five minutes.'

'No way, no way,' said Herrera, who was wounded in the neck, chest, abdomen, stomach, buttocks and shoulder.


He remained conscious throughout the ordeal, during which his wife, Blythe, and their 11-year-old son, Matao, were among those killed.

'Up until the time that the SWAT team entered the restaurant, there were people alive who you could hear moaning. He was shooting people up to the point that he was killed,' Herrera said.

'It took too long for the SWAt team. It was a major error in their chain of command, I think. I just think that in this day and age they should have acted sooner.'

He said the police should have moved in sooner, even if innocent people were killed in the crossfire, because 'so many people died anyway.'

Herrera's account paralleled those of survivors Guadalupe del Rio and Oscar Mondragon of Tijuana, Mexico, and Alberto Leos of Chula Vista, Calif., who said Huberty was killing people for about 40 minutes.

The survivors said the killer went from table to table, sipping soft drinks and dancing to music from his portable radio, between bursts of firing, mainly with a 9-mm Uzi semiautomatic rifle.

San Diego County Coroner David Stark concluded that most of those shot had little chance of living through the gunfire -- even if rescued sooner -- since 13 had been shot in the head, seven in the chest and one in the back.


Dick Starmann, spokesman for McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., said Monday no decision had been reached regarding demolition of the restaurant building in San Ysidro.

The company earlier announced it will not reopen as an eatery. During the weekend, the air conditioning unit and kitchen equipment were removed and the rest of the interior was gutted and junked, indicating demolition may be imminent.

A San Ysidro citizens group wants the building razed and the site converted into a memorial park dedicated to those slain.

McDonald's has not committed itself to the park proposal, but Starmann said, 'We want to do the appropriate thing for the community.'

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