At just 11 years old, Uvalde massacre survivor Miah Cerrillo has lent her voice to the conversation around gun violence, testifying June 8 before Congress about her horrific ordeal at Robb Elementary. During the hearing, the fourth grader recalled covering herself in the blood of a classmate in an effort to protect herself from being shot by Salvador Ramos, 18. She hoped that by covering her Lilo and Stitch shirt in blood, she could trick the shooter into believing she was already dead. Miah’s heartbreaking pre-recorded testimony about the May 24 mass shooting was shown at a hearing to the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
“[The shooter] shot the little window and then he moved to the other classrooms and then he went – there’s a door between our classrooms – and he went through there,” Miah said in the video, per The Daily Mail. “Then shot my teacher and told my teacher ‘goodnight’ and shot her in the head. And then he shot some of my classmates and the white board. When I went to the backpacks, he shot my friend that was next to me and I thought he was going to come back to the room. So I grabbed the blood and I put it all over me.”
Miah went on to explain how she was able to get her teacher’s phone and call for help. “I stayed quiet and then I got my teachers’ phone and called 9-1-1… and told her that we need help.” Miah’s brave and gut-wrenching account included a request for more security at the school. When her father Miguel Cerrillo asked if she thought it would happen again, she nodded her head.
The Robb Elementary School shooting in May ended in the deaths of 19 children and two teachers, and the shooter himself, who was killed by police. In the aftermath, an outpouring of celebrity concern and comments flooded social media. Uvalde native Matthew McConaughey and Texas-born Selena Gomez have also emerged to speak out on the tragedy, and Meghan Markle appeared in Uvalde to pay tribute to the victims.
“Today in my home state of Texas 18 innocent students were killed while simply trying to get an education,” Selena wrote via her social media on May 24. “If children aren’t safe at school, where are they safe? It’s so frustrating, and I’m not sure what to say anymore. Those in power need to stop giving lip service and actually change the laws to prevent these shootings in the future.”
Matthew appeared Jun 7 at the White House, where the Oscar winning actor delivered a powerful speech and held up the green Converse sneakers of victim Maite Rodriguez, 10. “These were the same green Converse on her feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her after the shooting.” Matthew concluded his plea for change by stating, “We start by making the loss of these lives matter.”