Uvalde Survivor, 11, Says She Covered Herself in Classmate’s Blood and Played Dead During Shooting

·3 min read
Texas school shooting - Credit: Kyodo/AP Photo
Texas school shooting - Credit: Kyodo/AP Photo

An 11-year-old survivor of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, described the moment the gunman shot her teacher and how she pretended to be dead in an interview with CNN.

Miah Cerrillo said her teachers found out there was an active shooter in the school while the class was watching the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch. When one of her teachers went to lock the door, Cerrillo said the gunman, 18-year-old Salvadore Ramos, was already there and shot through the window on the door. (Cerillo did not want to be interviewed about her experience on camera; a reporter, Nora Neus, relaid her story.)

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Cerillo said Ramos entered the classroom, looked one teacher in the eye, said, “Goodnight,” and shot her. The classroom was overseen by Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia, both of whom were killed; it was not clear which of the two Ramos confronted in this manner. 

According to Cerillo, Ramos opened fire after that (she was hit by fragments, received treatment for her injuries at the hospital, and was released). She said Ramos then walked into the connected classroom and began shooting again. After that, Cerillo said, Ramos started playing music, which she described as the kind of music where “you want people to die.” 

Probably the most harrowing detail of Cerillo’s story came next, when she and a friend grabbed her teacher’s phone and called 911 for help. Worried that Ramos would return, she took the blood of one of her classmates lying dead next to her, smeared it on herself and played dead. 

Cerillo reportedly said that while she was waiting for help, she just assumed that the police hadn’t arrived at the school yet. It was only later that she learned that law enforcement was there. While doing her interview, she reportedly began crying while saying she didn’t understand why the police didn’t come inside and rescue them. 

Law enforcement’s response during the Uvalde shooting has garnered significant criticism in the days since the tragedy, which left 21 dead, including 19 children. Many witnesses gathered outside the school said officers weren’t doing enough to stop Ramos, who was in the school for over an hour before he was killed. 

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials have given contradicting accounts of how the incident played out, raising more questions — and even more criticism. For instance, it was originally stated that a school police officer confronted Ramos when he first arrived on the campus, but another official later said that no cop confronted the gunman. Meanwhile, some parents who’d gathered outside the school were restrained, pepper-sprayed or handcuffed as they pleaded with the police to go into the school. Some law enforcement officials reportedly did go into the school to try and find their own children.

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