11-Year-Old Texas Elementary School Shooting Survivor Says She Covered Herself in Blood and Played Dead

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

An 11-year-old survivor from the mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas told her family she smeared blood on her body and pretended to be dead to avoid getting shot by the teenage gunman.

Miah Cerrillo was one of the dozens of fourth graders who were barricaded into a classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Tuesday, where a teenage gunman murdered 19 children and two teachers after opening fire on the unprotected group.

Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old shooter who roamed the school’s perimeter for 12 minutes before entering the school, was eventually shot dead by a team led by an elite Border Patrol tactical unit approximately 90 minutes after walking in unchallenged through an apparently unlocked door.

Miah’s aunt, Blanca Rivera, told NBC-DFW in a recent interview that her niece is struggling to get past the graphic imagery that she was forced to bear witness to on Tuesday, and the gruesome lengths she had to go through just to survive.

“Around midnight my sister-in-law called me and she was just crying, ‘I think it just hit Miah. I think everything to reality now,” she said to the Dallas-Forth Worth news station.

That reality that the 11-year-old is only now just coming to terms with is the grim actions she bravely undertook in an effort to secure her safety.

Her aunt told the station that her niece saw that one of her friends was covered in blood and she took it upon herself to then smear some blood onto her own body, so as to appear dead and, hopefully to the gunman’s eyes, no longer be a target.

“Miah got some blood and put it on herself so she could pretend she was dead,” Ms Rivera said. “It’s too much for me to play that scene over and over again, but that’s what my sister-in-law said is that she saw her friend full of blood and she got blood and put it on herself.”

The 11-year-old’s life-saving ploy potentially kept her from receiving any fatal wounds, but it wasn’t a 100 per cent guarantee for escaping injury.

“My brother said she had bullet fragments in her back,” her aunt told the news station, though she’s since been released from hospital.

Miah’s terrifying brush with death is just one of the many horrifying stories that have come out in recent days since the deadly mass shooting in Texas.

An anonymous fourth grader from the same classroom explained in harrowing detail how he managed to evade the 18-year-old’s gunfire by hiding under a table with a long tablecloth.

“When I heard the shooting through the door, I told my friend to hide under something so he won’t find us,” the boy told KENS5. “I was hiding hard. And I was telling my friend to not talk because he is going to hear us.”

The massacre claimed the lives of 19 students and their two teachers, Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia. Several others were injured, among them Miah, who was left with multiple bullet fragments in her back.

Law enforcement eventually shot and killed the suspected gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, who had barricaded himself inside the classroom and spent 40 minutes executing children and adults as desperate parents standing outside the school begged cops at the scene to go inside.

Miguel Cerrillo, Miah’s father, told the Washington Post that when he learned of the active shooter situation, he raced to Robb Elementary School and got there just in time to see a police officer carrying his bloodied daughter out of the building.

The child went on to explain how even after officers had breached the door, the children who had managed to survive to that point were not completely safe.

“When the cops came, the cop said, ‘Yell if you need help!’” he said. “And one of the persons in my class said ‘Help.’ The guy overheard and he came in and shot her.”

The actions undertaken by the responding officers, both inside and outside the school, have recently drawn the ire from grieving parents, community members and sparked a national outcry about how the local police force handled the mass shooting.

The latest official details from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) on Tuesday’s mass shooting differed sharply from initial police accounts and raised questions about security measures at the elementary school and the response of law enforcement.

Officers, for instance, reportedly waited outside the school for up to an hour before attempting to enter and disarm Ramos, something that Sean Burke, a recently retired Massachusetts school resource officer, who is president of the School Safety Advocacy Council, which trains districts in how to respond to shootings, told NBC in a recent interview was “a disgusting fact” if it turns out to be true.