Things That Matter

11-Year-Old Uvalde Survivor Recounts Horror Story of Playing Dead During Shooting

On Wednesday, 11-year-old Uvalde survivor Miah Cerrillo addressed the House Oversight and Reform Committee to discuss the need for gun control in the wake of the Robb Elementary shooting.

In her pre-recorded testimony, Cerrillo recounts the harrowing story of Salvador Ramos’ rampage, and the quick-thinking that allowed her to make it out alive.

Cerrillo said she believes she is not safe, and that another shooting will happen at her school and others like it if action isn’t taken. Cerrillo, who smeared herself in her classmate’s blood and played dead to survive, reportedly had panic attacks the night of the shooting, claiming that the shooter was coming to get her in her home.

The Robb Elementary student was one of many people who testified to the HORC on Wednesday, including survivors from Uvalde and Buffalo, as well as the physicians and first responders who treated those survivors.

During her testimony, Cerrillo said, “[The shooter] shot the little window and then he moved to the other classrooms and then he went — there’s a door between our classrooms — and he went through there. Then shot my teacher and told my teacher ‘goodnight’ and shot her in the head.”

She continued, “And then he shot some of my classmates and the whiteboard. When I went to the backpacks, he shot my friend that was next to me and I thought he was going to come back to the room,” she continued. “So I grabbed the blood and I put it all over me,” adding, “I stayed quiet and then I got my teacher’s phone and called 911… I told her that we need help.”

Per the Daily Mail, the pediatrician who treated Cerrillo on the day of the shooting, Dr. Roy Guerrero, was also present to testify about what he saw.

He shared, “As I entered the chaos of the ER, the first casualty I came across was Miah Cerrillo. She was sitting in the hallway, her face was still clearly in shock but her whole body was shaking from the adrenaline coursing through it.”

“Sweet Miah, I’ve known her my whole life,” Dr. Guerrero added. “As a baby, she survived major liver surgeries against all odds. And, once again, she’s here as a survivor.”

Cerrillo’s father also gave his testimony, saying, “I come because I love my baby girl — but she is not the same little girl that I used to play with and run with and do everything because she was daddy’s little girl. I have five kids and she is the middle child. I don’t know what to do.”

During the second part of the hearing, lawmakers questioned experts on the efficacy of stricter gun regulations while bringing up some facts of their own. New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was particularly pointed in her questioning, asking Rebecca Pringle, president of the labor union National Education Association, to confirm the number of school shootings in the U.S. between 2009 and 2018 — 288.

She then asked Pringle to confirm how many “our G-7 partners — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom — combined” had. The number was just 5.

“In almost 10 years — 288 versus 5. This is not normal,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Not only is it not normal, it is internationally embarrassing and delegitimizing to the United States,” she continued. “Because for all the billions and trillions this body authorizes in the name of national security, we can’t even keep our kids safe from their schools being turned into a war zone.”

Another representative, Katie Porter, D-CA, insisted that guns be subject to the same recall standards as any other consumer product. “A consumer product that causes this much harm to the public would normally be subject to a recall,” she said.

“After one child died using a Peloton treadmill last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission intervened and recalled the product,” Porter noted.

“But when hundreds of children die using guns, there is no federal response.”

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