ALL NEWS

4th grade Uvalde survivor: ‘I don’t want it to happen again’

Jun 8, 2022, 11:54 AM
Uvalde survivor...
Miguel Cerrillo, father of Miah Cerrillo a fourth grade student at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, wipes his eye as he testifies during a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on gun violence on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An 11-year-old girl who survived the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, recounted in video testimony to Congress on Wednesday how she covered herself with a dead classmate’s blood to avoid being shot and “just stayed quiet.”

Miah Cerrillo, a fourth-grader at Robb Elementary School, told lawmakers in a pre-recorded video that she watched a teacher get shot in the head before looking for a place to hide.

“I thought he would come back so I covered myself with blood,” Miah told the House panel. “I put it all over me and I just stayed quiet.” She called 911 using the deceased teacher’s phone and pleaded for help.

Nineteen children and two teachers died when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle inside Robb Elementary School on May 24.

It was the second day lawmakers heard wrenching testimony on the nation’s gun violence. On Tuesday, a Senate panel heard from the son of an 86-year-old woman killed when a gunman opened fire in a racist attack on Black shoppers in Buffalo, New York, on May 14. Ten people died.

In the video Wednesday, Miah’s father, Miguel Cerillo, asked his daughter if she feels safe at school anymore. She shook her head no.

“Why?” he asks. “I don’t want it to happen again,” she responds.

The testimony at the House Oversight Committee came as lawmakers work to strike a bipartisan agreement on gun safety measures in the aftermath of back-to-back mass shootings.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the panel’s chairwoman, called the hearing to focus on the human impact of gun violence and the urgency for gun control legislation.

“I am asking every member of this committee to listen with an open heart to the brave witnesses who have come forward to tell their stories about how gun violence has impacted their lives,” Maloney said. “Our witnesses today have endured pain and loss. Yet they are displaying incredible courage by coming here to ask us to do our jobs.”

But even as some lawmakers shed tears alongside the witnesses, the hearing displayed the contentious debate over gun control Congress has faced repeatedly after mass shootings. Several Republicans turned the conversation to the individuals who abuse guns and how “hardening schools” could help protect students.

Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., who owns a gun store, said that one of the things he learned in his military service was that “the harder the target you are, the less likely you will be engaged by the enemy.” He called on schools to keep doors locked, provide a single point of entry and “a volunteer force of well-trained and armed staff, in addition to a school resource officer.”

The parents of victims and survivors implored lawmakers not to let their children’s deaths and pain be in vain. After Miah spoke, her father told lawmakers that he testified because “I could have lost my baby girl.”

“But she is not the same little girl that I use to play with,” Cerrillo said. “Schools are not safe anymore. Something needs to really change.”

Also testifying was Zeneta Everhart, whose 20-year-old son Zaire was wounded in the Buffalo mass shooting.

Everhart told lawmakers it was their duty to draft legislation that protects Zaire and other Americans. She said that if they did not find the testimony moving enough to act on gun laws, they had an invitation to go to her home to help her clean her son’s wounds.

“My son Zaire has a hole in the right side of his neck, two on his back, and another on his left leg,” she said, then paused to compose herself. “As I clean his wounds, I can feel pieces of that bullet in his back. Shrapnel will be left inside of his body for the rest of his life. Now I want you to picture that exact scenario for one of your children.”

The parents of Lexi Rubio, who died in her classroom in Uvalde, also testified. Felix and Kimberly Rubio recounted finding out about their daughter’s death hours after leaving Lexi’s school awards ceremony on the morning of the shooting.

To get to the elementary school, Kimberly Rubio said she ran barefoot for a mile with her sandals in her hand and with her husband by her side. A firefighter eventually gave them a ride back to the civic center.

“Soon after we received the news that our daughter was among the 19 students and two teachers that died as a result of gun violence,” she said, fighting through tears.
She said that Lexi would have made a positive change in the world if she had been given the chance.

“Somewhere out there, there’s a mom listening to our testimony, thinking I can’t even imagine their pain, not knowing that our reality will one day be hers unless we act now,” Kimberly Rubio said.

Dr. Roy Guerrero described in stark terms the carnage he witnessed at the local hospital as he tried to treat the injured. He went to the area of the hospital where two dead children had been taken. The bodies were so pulverized, he said, “that the only clue to their identities was the blood-splattered cartoon clothes still clinging to them, clinging for life and finding none.”

The Democratic-led House is expected to pass legislation that would raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.

But the legislation has almost no chance of becoming law as the Senate pursues negotiations focused on improving mental health programs, bolstering school security and enhancing background checks. The House bill does allow Democratic lawmakers a chance to frame for voters in November where they stand on policies that polls show appeal to a majority.

Majorities of U.S. adults think mass shootings would occur less often if guns were harder to get, and that schools and other public places have become less safe than they were two decades ago.
___
More on the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas: https://apnews.com/hub/uvalde-school-shooting

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team. here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Wasatch County Sheriff's Office...
Mark Jones

Highland man dies in snowmobile accident in Wasatch County

A 51-year-old man from Highland died in a snowmobile accident Tuesday afternoon in Wasatch County, according to the Wasatch County Sheriff's Office.
1 day ago
Salt Lake City Police took a 44-year-old man into custody on Wednesday in connection to the burglar...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake City Police announce third arrest in September homicide

Salt Lake City Police say a third person has been taken into custody in connection to a September homicide.
1 day ago
Utah Roadkill Reporter is a new app helping reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions. Available on Google...
Devin Oldroyd

DWR and UDOT introducing new app Utah Roadkill Reporter

Utah Roadkill Reporter is a new app helping reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions. Available on Google Play and the App store now.
1 day ago
Gov. Spencer Cox announced Utah Court of Appeals Judge Jill M. Pohlman is his nominee to serve on t...
Mark Jones

Tax cuts, teacher salary raise among budget recommendations by Cox

On Thursday, Gov. Cox announced significant tax cuts and a salary increase for all teachers are included in his recommendations for the fiscal year 2024 budget.
1 day ago
Baby Formula Shortagae...
Aubri Wuthrich

Shortage of baby formula continues to worry parents

While the baby formula shortage has improved since earlier this year, experts say there still isn't enough.
1 day ago
The families of three Hunter High shooting victims protested outside the office of Salt Lake County...
Aimee Cobabe

Families of Hunter High shooting victims unhappy with plea deal

The families of three Hunter High students who were shot in January are upset with the plea deal given to the 15-year-old suspect.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
4th grade Uvalde survivor: ‘I don’t want it to happen again’