WASHINGTON — With the same composure and courage that saved her life, 11-year-old Miah Cerillo calmly told members of Congress about the horrors she witnessed during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde
Wearing a sunflower tank top and her hair pulled back into a ponytail, Miah spoke softly as she answered questions on video about what she endured.
“He shot my teacher and told my teacher good night and shot her in the head,” she said in the prerecorded video shown at a hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform. “And then he shot some of my classmates and the white board.”
Miah was the youngest of a small group of Uvalde survivors and family members who testified at a U.S. House hearing Wednesday about the devastation wrought by gun violence in their communities.
Miah said she and her classmates were watching a movie. Her teacher received an email and then got up to lock the door — and that’s when the teacher made eye contact with the gunman in the hallway.
At that point, the teacher told the students to “go hide.” Miah said she hid behind her teacher’s desk among the backpacks. The shooter then shot “the little window,” presumably part of the door to the hallway. She said the gunman entered a neighboring classroom and was able to access her classroom through an adjoining door. That’s when he started shooting.
One of the students who was shot, a friend of hers, was next to her among the backpacks.
“I thought [the gunman] was going to come back to the room, so I grabbed the blood and I put it all over me,” Miah said.
She “stayed quiet” and then she grabbed her teacher’s phone and called 911.
“I told [the operator] that we need help and to send the police [to my] classroom,” she said.
Miah added that she did not feel safe in school and did not “want it to happen again.” An off-camera questioner asked if she thought a shooting like this will happen again and she nodded.
The little girl didn’t cry during her testimony. But some of the adults from Uvalde who testified wept before the committee, including her father, Miguel Cerrillo, who traveled to Washington to testify in person.
“I come because I could have lost my baby girl, but she’s not the same baby girl I used to play with,” he said, adding that “schools are not safe anymore.”