The mother of a 23-year-old Israeli-American told CBS News that she believes her son may be one of at least 22 Americans who have been taken captive in Gaza after Saturday’s unprecedented attack inside Israel by Hamas militants.

Hersh Goldberg-Polin, an Israeli-American originally born in Chicago, was attending the dance music festival in the southern Israeli kibbutz of Re’im near the Gaza Strip when the bloody invasion by Hamas militants began — an attack that ultimately left at least 260 festival attendees dead.

His father, Jonathan Polin, told CBS News on Sunday that Goldberg-Polin sent his parents two short messages on Saturday morning as the attack began. The first one just said “I love you,” and the second only: “I’m sorry.” It was the last interaction that Goldberg-Polin had with his parents.

Speaking to CBS News over the phone on Wednesday, Goldberg-Polin’s mother, Rachel Polin, said that she has been able to speak to three survivors of the festival who were with Hersh and has gathered from multiple witness accounts that her son may still be alive and a hostage.

As the attack started, Rachel Polin says she believes that her son “actually ran and got to the car that they had come down to the festival in and they were racing away,” before rockets began to rain down on the road.

“They pulled over to the side of the road where there was a bomb shelter and a public above ground bomb shelter and a bunch of other cars with party goers pulled over and they all went running from their cars into this bomb shelter… there were roughly 30 people sort of smashed inside this cement structure,” she told CBS News.

Soon afterwards, Rachel Polin said, those inside heard gunfire outside the shelter which was quickly followed by members of Hamas coming to the open doorway of the structure and lobbing hand grenades inside, killing many — including Hersh’s best friend.

“Then it got very quiet because, you know, everyone was wounded or was, dead or, you know, incapacitated and then the terrorists walked into a few minutes,” Polin’s mother said, citing the survivor witness accounts of those she spoke to.

“There were a few minutes and then the terrorists came inside with their guns and they said ‘everyone who can stand, get up and come out with us, or we’re gonna kill you,” she said.

The grenade attack from militants had blown off Hersh’s arm but he was alive and able to stand up and follow the militants out of the shelter, she said.

Goldberg-Polin managed to use his experience as a medic to tourniquet his arm, witnesses who were with him told his mother.

Rachel Polin says that she believes an image that she saw circulating on social media appears to show Goldberg-Polin in the bomb shelter prior to the grenade attacks.

An image shared with CBS News by Rachel Polin that she says she found circulating online. She believes it shows her son Hersh Goldberg-Polin in a bomb shelter near Be’im Israel after a Hamas attack on a music festival he was attending on Oct. 7, 2023.

“We were desperately trying to find out where he was and someone posted a picture on social media from the back of that bomb shelter going toward the door. And we could see on the left leaning against the wall, we could see that it was Hersh,” she said.

Witnesses, some of whom escaped by playing dead, said that Hersh “wasn’t screaming, he wasn’t yelling, he was, you know, very calm and conscious and he got up,” according to Rachel Polin.

Five or six of those who left with Hamas “were put on the back of a pickup truck,” including Hersh, Rachel Polin told CBS News.

“The last known location when tracking his phone was at the border of Gaza,” she said.

“We know that he is critically injured and being held hostage and that’s what we know,” she added.

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