The gunman who massacred at least 85 people in Norway yelled that "he was going to kill us all and that we all must die", recalled a survivor.
Anders Behring Breivik, a 32-year-old Norwegian, sprayed bullets Friday evening at a youth camp on Utoya island and is also linked to a bombing in Oslo. He confessed to the killings Saturday.
Adrian Pracon told Sky News that after learning about the explosion in Oslo, an emergency meeting had been held at the summer camp.
"Suddenly I heard shots but I didn't realise at first that they were shots. Then I saw people running and falling when they got shot - just right in front of me," he said while recalling the horrifying moments.
He fled through the woods and into the freezing water.
After swimming a few hundred metres, he turned back to shore.
"I felt that I had to turn back because I was facing certain death if I swam any further.
"While I was swimming back, he came onto the shore, on that cliff, and started shooting at people that were trying to swim. He was shooting with a sort of machine gun.
"He was yelling out that he was going to kill us all and that we all must die."
Breivik pointed the gun at Pracon when he approached the shore.
"...With what air I had left in my lungs instead of water, I screamed to him, 'Please no, please'.
"I don't know if he had some sympathy or if he just didn't like to kill one person instead of a group but he spared me at that moment."
As Pracon waited for help, Breivik returned.
"He started shooting out of nowhere. People were falling down and I started hiding behind the bodies," Pracon was quoted as saying.
"He approached and stood one metre above me, I could feel him breathing and I could feel his boots and I could definitely feel the shot - right in my back.
"I was lying face down as he approached and took a shot at me to see if I was dead. Fortunately I didn't move when I got hit so he thought I was dead."