By Abby Livingston, The Texas Tribune
June 8, 2022
WASHINGTON — Miah Cerrillo, an 11-year-old in fourth grade who survived the school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, said she covered herself in another student’s blood to trick the shooter into thinking she was already dead.
Cerrillo was among the small group of Uvalde survivors and community members who testified at a House hearing Wednesday, offering details about the incident and the devastation to those left behind.
In a prerecorded video aired to the committee members, Cerrillo, wearing a tank top with sunflowers, said she and her classmates were watching a movie when her teacher received an email and then locked the door while the shooter was in the hallway. Cerrillo said the teacher and the shooter made eye contact.
At that point, the teacher told the students to “go hide.” Cerrillo hid behind the teacher’s desk among the backpacks. The shooter then shot “the little window,” presumably part of the door to the hallway. She said the gunman entered a neighboring classroom and was able to access her classroom through an adjoining door.
“He shot my teacher and told my teacher good night and shot her in the head,” she said. “And then he shot some of my classmates and the white board.”
One of the students who was shot was next to her among the backpacks.
“I thought [the gunman] was going to come back to the room, so I grabbed the blood and I put it all over me,” she said.
She said she “stayed quiet” and then she grabbed her teacher’s phone and called 911.
“I told [the operator] that we need help and to send the police [to my] classroom,” she said.
Cerrillo added that she did not feel safe in school and did not “want it to happen again.”An off-camera questioner asked if she thought a shooting like this will happen again and Cerrillo affirmatively nodded.
Cerrillo’s father, Miguel Cerrillo, tearfully testified in the hearing room.
“I come because I could have lost my baby girl, but she’s not the same baby girl I used to play with,” he said, adding that “schools are not safe anymore.”
Kimberly Rubio, the mother of Lexi Rubio, who died that day, described in video testimony dropping her children off at the school and attending end-of-school-year awards ceremonies that morning.
“I left my daughter at that school and that decision will haunt me for the rest of my life,” she said.
She called for a ban on assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, raising the age to purchase certain guns, keeping guns out of the hands of people deemed to be a risk to themselves or others, stronger background checks and to repeal gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.
“We understand for some reason to some people, to people with money, to people who fund political campaigns, that guns are more important than children,” Rubio said. “So at this moment we ask for progress.”
Dr. Roy Guerrero, a pediatrician, Uvalde native and graduate of Robb Elementary School, described in the hearing room his encounter with the bodies of two deceased children that arrived at his hospital.
The children’s bodies were “pulverized,” “decapitated” and “ripped apart.” The bullets did so much damage to their bodies that the “only clue as to their identities was a blood-splattered cartoon clothes still clinging to them, clinging for life and finding none.”
He added that he and other hospital personnel braced that day for an onslaught of carnage, but it never came because so many of the victims were already dead.
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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/06/08/uvalde-congress-students-testify-gun-violence/.
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