Crime & Justice

Uvalde school massacre survivor to Congress: I want to have security

Washington, Jun 8 (EFE).- Miah Cerrillo, an 11-year-old survivor of the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre, on Wednesday told US lawmakers that she wanted “security” and described the horrifying events of that day, when she smeared the blood of a friend over her body and played dead, thus in all likelihood saving her own life.

The fourth-grader gave her prerecorded video testimony before a House of Representatives committee, testifying along with other survivors of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in which 19 of her classmates and two teachers died.

Also testifying before the committee were survivors of the racist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, in which another lone gunman armed with an assault rifle took the lives of 10 African-Americans.

In her testimony, Cerrillo explained how she and her classmates had been watching a video when one of her teachers received an email and hurried to lock the classroom door with a key, telling the students to hide behind their backpacks and her desk.

The attacker, armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, shot his way into the classroom, said “Good night” to Cerrillo’s teacher and then killed the woman by shooting her in the head and then open firing at the students and a whiteboard.

The 11-year-old said that when she went to the area of the classroom where the backpacks were “he shot my friend Elizabeth and I thought he would come back to the room so I grabbed (her) blood and I put it all over me and stayed quiet.”

She was able to get her teacher’s cellphone from the woman’s dead body and dialed 911 to call for the police, saying that she told them she needed help and to send officers into the classroom right away.

“I don’t want it to happen again,” she said, as she narrated her story on the video responding to her father’s questions, and when he asked her what she wanted, she said: “To have security.”

Miguel Cerrillo, the girl’s father, testified in person before the committee and, amid sobs, he asked lawmakers to make changes in the law not only for the sake of the children in Uvalde but so that terrible events like this don’t recur.

“I could’ve lost my baby girl,” Mr. Cerrillo, the father of five, said. “She is not the same little girl that I used to play with.”

He went on to tell lawmakers that he hopes that “something will change, not only for our kids but every single kid in the world, because schools are not safe anymore. Something needs to really change.”

Also testifying before the committee were Felix and Kimberly Rubio, whose daughter Lexi was killed in Uvalde, as well as Zeneta Everhart, the mother of one of the three people wounded in the Buffalo shooting, which is being investigated as a racist crime because the young white attacker targeted a supermarket in the African American part of town.

Also appearing before legislators was Dr. Roy Guerrero, a Uvalde pediatrician.

The testimony of these witnesses comes just hours before the House, where Democrats hold a slender majority, begins debate on a big package of broadbased measures to limit gun possession.

Simultaneously, several Democratic and Republic senators are negotiating to create a more moderate bill with provisions for increasing background checks and limiting the sale of the components of some pistols, a minimalist proposal that they hope the two sharply divided parties will be able to agree on before the week is out.

EFE bpm/mj/bp

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