A courageous and quick-thinking fourth-grade girl provided House lawmakers with an amazing account of the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
According to a report in the New York Post, Miah Cerrillo, 11, “told the House Oversight Committee her teacher made eye contact with the shooter when she went to lock the door after she heard a noise in the hallway.”
Cerrillo recalled that her teacher told the class to take cover behind her desk “and in a pile of backpacks.” The 18-year-old gunman then shot out the “little window” in the door and entered an adjacent classroom connected by another door. This allowed the gunman access to Miah’s room.
In prerecorded video testimony, Miah told her story:
The gunman came into our classroom. “He told my teacher ‘goodnight’ and shot her in the head,” Cerillo whispered, “and then he shot some of my classmates.”
At the time, Miah was hiding in a pile of backpacks. She recounted that the gunman then “shot my friend [who] was next to me.”
The gunman left. “I thought he was going to come back into the room. So I grabbed a little blood and I put it all over me,” Cerrillo said.
After smearing the blood on herself to appear wounded, and not knowing if the gunman would return, Miah moved to where her teacher’s cellphone was and called 911.
“I told [the 911 operator] that we needed help and to send the police in our classroom.”
Her quick action and heroism puts the local police force to shame.
When asked via video if she felt safe at school, Miah shook her head no.
“I don’t want it to happen again,” she said.
Miah’s father, Miguel Cerrillo, reports that the horrific incident has changed his daughter. Miguel made a personal appearance before the panel to ensure lawmakers understood that his daughter and many students were left traumatized by the shooting.
“Today. I come because I could have lost my baby girl,” the father said. “She is not the same little girl that I used to play with, and run around with and do everything, because she was daddy’s little girl.”
The House panel scheduled the hearing in the wake of recent massacres in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.
Lexi Rubio, 10, died in the Uvalde shooting. Hours before the incident she received a good citizenship award and was lauded for getting As in class. Her mother, Kimberly, also spoke to the panel. Holding up a picture taken after the award’s ceremony, she said:
“That photo, her last photo ever, was taken at approximately 10:54 a.m. To celebrate, we promised to get her ice cream that evening. We told her we loved her, and we would pick her up after school. I can still see her, walking with us toward the exit. In the reel that keeps scrolling across my memories, she turns her head and smiles back at us to acknowledge my promise. And then we left.”
“I left my daughter at that school, and that decision will haunt me for the rest of my life,” she said amid sobs.
Understandably, many are looking for quick solutions and someone or something to blame. Unfortunately, that is rarely possible when the problems are far-reaching and complex.
Mata-Rubio, who said she was speaking before the panel on Lexi’s behalf, told lawmakers:
“We seek a ban of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. We understand that for some reason to some people, to people with money, to people who fund political campaigns, that guns are more important to children. So at this moment, we ask Congress, we seek to raise the age to purchase these weapons from 18 to 21 years of age.”
Dr. Robert Guerrero, an Uvalde pediatrician who treated many of the victims, also urged lawmakers to take action on guns to prevent future tragedies.
“My oath as a doctor means that I signed up to save lives,” Guerrero said. “I do my job, and I guess it turns out that I am here to plead, to beg, please, please do yours.”
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