Members of US Congress were confronted with the carnage of gun violence, when an 11-year-old student who survived the mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school told her story in matter-of-fact detail to a House committee.
Miah Cerrillo—a 4th grader who was in one of two adjoining Robb Elementary School classrooms where 19 children and two teachers died—described in a prerecorded video how she survived the attack by smearing herself with a friend’s blood and playing dead until the danger passed.
She recalled how the 18-year-old gunman told her teacher “good night” as he shot and killed her in the May 24 attack.
“He shot my friend … I thought he was going to come back to the room, so I grabbed the blood and I put it all over me,” she said, adding that she used her teacher’s phone to call 911.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform heard from Cerrillo, her father, Miguel Cerrillo, from parents whose daughter was killed in the shooting, and from activists on both sides of the gun debate as lawmakers consider new laws as a response to a wave of mass shootings in recent weeks.
The hearing came days before young advocates from March for Our Lives plan to protest in Washington and at locations around the country Saturday to push for tighter gun restrictions. That group was founded by survivors of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and it previously kicked off a wave of student activism in the months following that attack.
The 4th grader’s testimony also came as a coalition of 17 education organizations released a consensus statement calling for actions like expanded background checks for firearms purchases in The US.