We continue to learn more about the awful elementary school shooting that took place in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday.
As we’ve been reporting, 19 students and two teachers were tragically killed in the horrific attack perpetrated by an 18-year-old man who entered the school to commit the horror just two days before the children were set to be released for summer break.
Now, new reports are coming out about what the fourth grade students in that classroom had to go through as the shooter entered the building and committed the unimaginable acts of atrocity. Late on Wednesday night, family members of one of the students in that classroom — identified publicly as 11-year-old Miah Cerrillo — spoke with local Texas media outlets about the little girl’s horrific experience on Tuesday.
Blanca Rivera, Miah’s aunt, told KPRC and other outlets that her niece “played dead” to survive the terrible incident. Cerrillo’s teacher, Irma Garcia, was shot and killed by the assailant during the awful affair, at which point the little girl realized she needed to take action in whatever way she could.
Thinking quickly as the unfathomable occurred, Miah was able to keep herself out of the shooter’s line of sight long enough to call 911. Rivera explained that the girl apparently grabbed her deceased teacher’s phone to call emergency services while the attack was ongoing. As she did so, Rivera says, the quick-thinking young girl realized she also had to make it look like she was dead, too, so the shooter wouldn’t come back for her.
Rivera explained to the outlet:
“Miah got some blood and put it on herself so she could pretend she was dead. It’s too much for me to play that scene over and over again, but that’s what my sister-in-law said is that she saw her friend full of blood and she got blood and put it on herself.”
Wow. To think of an 11-year-old being forced to go through that, and having the presence of mind to save herself while seeing such terror around her, is stunning. We’re amazed by her resiliency — and horrified someone so young and innocent would ever have to be put through this.
It’s also notable considering the story of 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza, who was killed in the attack. Garza’s “best friend,” who was apparently covered in blood after coming out of the school, relayed the girl’s tragic death to her horrified father in the aftermath. (FWIW, Rivera did not mention Garza in retelling Miah’s story, and it’s not yet clear whether Garza and Cerrillo’s experiences are connected.)
Miah was injured in the shooting, but was rushed to the hospital, and she has since been released. Rivera relayed her current medical prognosis to the media:
“My brother said she had bullet fragments in her back.”
The aftermath has proven to be mentally and emotionally challenging, too.
Rivera explained that in the hours after the incident, around midnight, Miah began struggling to cope with what happened in the attack:
“Around midnight my sister-in-law called me and she was just crying, like, ‘I think it just hit Miah. I think everything came to reality now.’”
Rivera explained that the family is desperately trying to work through the incident emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically:
“At this point, we just have to pray and ask God to help us move forward through this situation, I know it’s traumatizing as it is.”
We can’t even imagine what that must be like.
Here is more on Miah’s survival story from KPRC 2 News (below):
Such a heartbreaking situation. There just aren’t many more words that can adequately address it. We’re sending all our love and prayers to Miah and the rest of the people who experienced this horrific tragedy in Uvalde.
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