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Hanes Park shootout scene: Mom says she 'just kept running' to keep her three kids safe

After firing a dozen rounds from a semiautomatic rifle at a police substation on Monday, investigators say William Scott led police on a chase to Hanes Park.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Carly Weisthal and her three children had just arrived at tennis lessons at Hanes Park on Monday when she heard gunfire nearby

"I heard pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, and I looked around, and thought, is that a gunshot? I don't know," she explained. "Then I heard a lot more gunshots, and then it was chaos."

What happened next, she said, was kind of a blur. With her 2-year-old in her arms, Weisthal and her two other kids - ages 9 and 7 - ran in the other direction. 

"There were lots of camp kids and camp counselors in the park and I just said, we're running with you, we're going," she said. "At one point, I did have my kids crouch behind a stone wall in Hanes Park because I thought we needed to be barricaded by something, but then I thought, we're sitting ducks here, we need to just keep running."

She said her family kept running up a steep hill and away from the park, before hiding on someone's deck - not knowing whether the danger had passed. 

RELATED: Police shootout suspect charged with murder in deaths of mom, grandma

Parkgoers that day would later learn the scope of the situation - that the shots fired came from William Scott, as well as the officers who fired back, after he led them on a chase from the District 1 substation, where investigators say Scott fired multiple rounds from a semi-automatic rifle into the building.

On Tuesday, Scott was charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. On Wednesday, he was additionally charged with the murder of his mother and grandmother. 

"While we were running, I definitely felt open and exposed, like we could be hit in the back at any moment," Weisthal said. "He shot at the police. It's amazing he didn't shoot into the park full of kids."

Weisthal said that even though they weren't hurt, Monday's events and the emotions and terror she felt for herself and her children are something they'll never forget. 

"It was the scariest day of my life," she said. "And I hope it remains the scariest day of my life and it saddens me, that scariest day of my life may also be the scariest day of my kids' lives at two, seven, and nine."

She told WFMY News 2 that she's still processing what happened, but that this personal experience has pushed her to double her efforts to fight against gun violence - with plans to join Moms Demand Action in the near future.