An 11-year-old survivor of the Robb Primary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, worried the gunman would come back for her so she coated herself in her friend’s blood and pretended dead.
Miah Cerrillo spoke exclusively to CNN about her awful experience that day inside the classroom where the mass shooting took place that killed 19 of her classmates and two of her professors.
Miah stated she and her classmates were watching the movie “Lilo and Stitch” in a classroom shared by two teachers, Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia. The pupils were finished with their classes when the professors got word there was a gunman in the building, she told CNN’s “New Day.”
One teacher tried to shut the door, but Miah says the shooter was already right there — and fired out the window in the door.
She remembered it all happening so fast — her teacher backed into the classroom and the gunman followed. She told CNN he locked eyes with one of the teachers, said, “Goodnight,” and then shot her.
He started the fire, shooting the other teacher and many of Miah’s friends. She stated gunshots passed by her, and bits injured her shoulders and head. The youngster was eventually treated in the hospital and freed with fragment wounds; she described to CNN that chunks of her hair were falling out already.
Miah stated after shooting pupils in her class, the gunman proceeded through a door into a neighboring classroom. She heard shouts, then the sound of bullets in that classroom. After the gunfire stopped, though, she believes the shooter started playing loud music — mournful music, she claimed.
The youngster and a buddy managed to retrieve her dead teacher’s phone and call 911 for aid. She said she implored a dispatcher, “Please come … we’re in trouble.”
Miah said she was frightened the gunman would return to her classroom to kill her and a few other surviving pals. So, she plunged her hands in the blood of a classmate — who lay next to her, already dead — and then smeared the blood all over herself to appear dead.
Miah claimed it felt like three hours that she laid there, covered in her classmate’s blood, with her pals.
She told CNN she assumed at that point the police hadn’t gotten on the site yet.
She stated thereafter, she overheard chatter of cops waiting outside the school. As she described this section of the tale to CNN, she started crying, saying she just didn’t understand why they didn’t come inside and rescue them.
Miah’s mother stated her daughter is frightened and can’t sleep. The child’s parents have created a GoFundMe specifically to pay for her therapy.
In an attempt to keep herself covered, Miah sat for the conversation wrapped in a blanket, despite the warm surroundings.
A mobile alarm accidentally went off during the interview, and Miah was noticeably frightened by the loudness. Her mother said that’s been happening a lot, and detailed an earlier occasion where they were at a car wash and the sound of the vacuum cleaner “totally set her off.”
Miah was too terrified to speak on camera, or to a male, because of what she endured, but she told CNN she wanted to share her story so people can know what it’s like to live through a school shooting. She thinks that it can help avoid a tragedy like this from happening to other children.
Already a “wonder baby”
Miah’s mother stated she was born with a tumor in her abdomen and wasn’t expected to live much past her birth. She underwent significant surgery to remove the tumor at age three; her mother already considered her a “wonder baby” and said that’s even truer today.
Her mother also told CNN that the morning of the murder, Miah had an ear infection and she took her from our school to go to the doctor. On the way back, they stopped at Starbucks for a treat and her mother offered to let Miah skip school the rest of the day as it was one of the last days of courses before summer break and they were just watching movies.
But Miah insisted that she wanted to return to school to see her classmates, so her mother left her back off at school — roughly an hour before the shooting.