An 11-year-old girl who was injured in Tuesday’s horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, has opened up about the unthinkable experience, telling CNN she played dead so the gunman wouldn’t kill her.
Miah Cerrillo did not appear on camera while speaking to CNN, but wanted people to know how traumatized she is, hoping her story may lead to some sort of effective change.
CNN reports Miah’s mother was present for the interview, which was conducted by a woman; the little girl has not been sleeping and has been fearful of men since the shooting.
When the teachers received word a shooter was in the school, one teacher went to lock the door. Unfortunately, Miah recalls, the shooter was already at the door, and shot out its window.
Miah told CNN it all unfolded so quickly. The teacher backed away from the door, into the classroom, and the gunman followed.
She told CNN the shooter made eye contact with one of the teachers, uttered, “Goodnight,” and then shot her. He then opened fire, shooting the other teacher and many of Miah’s friends as she watched.
The girl said bullets whizzed passed her, and that fragments ended up hitting her shoulders and head. The girl was later treated at the hospital and released with fragment wounds; she told CNN that clumps of her hair are now falling out.
Miah said that after shooting students in her class, the gunman went through a door, into an adjoining classroom.
She said she heard screams, and the sound of shots in that classroom. After the gunfire ceased, she claims the shooter started playing loud, “sad” music.
Miah found one of her dead teacher’s phones, called 911, and simply told a dispatcher, “Please come … we’re in trouble.”
Right after, Miah rubbed her friend’s blood all over herself and played dead.
CNN reports that Miah said it felt like three hours that she lay there, and assumed, in that moment, the police were still on the way.
She said afterward, she overheard talk of police waiting outside the school. As she recounted this part of the story to CNN, she started crying, saying she just didn’t understand why they didn’t come inside and rescue them.
Miah’s parents have launched a GoFundMe to pay for the 11-year-old’s therapy.
Before entering the school, the killer crashed his car in a nearby ditch.
A responding off-duty U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent killed the suspect. A motive for the murders has not been released.
All of the children killed were in the second, third, and fourth grades, police have said.
The school district in Uvalde has opened an official account with First State Bank of Uvalde to support Robb Elementary families affected by the tragedy. People can send checks through the mail (payable to the “Robb School Memorial Fund“) or donate money through Zelle to firstname.lastname@example.org. People can also donate by calling 830-356-2273.