Eleven-year-old Miah Cerrillo, who survived the massacre in the fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, said she smeared her friend’s blood on herself to appear dead in case the shooter came back.
She spoke exclusively to CNN about her horrific experience that day, but declined to speak to any men because of what happened and only feels comfortable speaking to women. She also did not want to go on camera.
Miah and her classmates were watching “Lilo & Stitch” when her teachers Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia got an email notifying them of a shooter in the school. CNN spoke to both Miah and her mother.
One teacher “went to the door and he was right there — they made eye contact,” Neus told CNN’s John Berman. “Mia says it just happened all so fast. He backed the teacher into the classroom. He made eye contact with the teacher, again, looked her right in the eye and said ‘goodnight’ and then shot her and killed her.”
At this point, he opened fire in the classroom, which hit the other teacher and a lot of Miah’s friends.
Miah was hit by fragments of the bullets, too. They are visible on her back, on her shoulders and the back of her head, Neus reported.
The shooter then went into the adjoining classroom, and Miah told CNN that she could hear screams, a lot more gunfire, and then she said she heard music.
“She thinks it was the gunman that put it on. He started blasting sad music,” Neus said. “She just said it sounded like ‘I want people to die’ music.”
Miah said she was scared the gunman would come back to kill her and a few other surviving friends. So, she put her hands in her friend’s blood, who laid next to her— and already looked dead—and then smeared it all over herself to appear dead.
She and a friend also managed to grab her dead teacher’s phone and call 911 for help. She says she told a dispatcher, “please send help because we’re in trouble.”
Miah says she thought she was there for three hours, but her mother then said, “sweetheart, I think it was closer to one hour but I’m sure it felt that way.”
As she laid there, Miah thought the police just hadn’t reached the campus, she told CNN.
She says afterwards, she overheard talk of police waiting outside the school. Recounting this during the interview, she started crying, saying she just didn’t understand why they didn’t come inside and get them.
Now, Miah is living through the trauma and her parents have started GoFundMe specifically to pay for her therapy.