4th-Grader Used Friend's Blood To Appear Dead During Texas Shooting


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Editor's Note: The following story contains graphic details about a shooting involving children. Reading about trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

Eleven-year-old Miah Cerrillo was wounded and survived the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday (May 24). In an exclusive interview with CNN, the fourth-grader agreed to speak only with a woman and recalled harrowing details about the shooting, including that she smeared her friend's blood on herself to appear dead in case the shooter came back.


Miah would not go on camera for the interview and spoke to CNN's Nora Neus along with her mother, Abigale Veloz.

Miah's class was watching Lilo & Stitch because it was just two days before school let out when her teachers, Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia, received an email that a person with a gun had entered Robb Elementary School. One of the educators "went to the door and he was right there — they made eye contact," CNN's Nora Neus reported.

"He shot out the window in the door," Neus said, "and Miah says it happened all so fast. He backed the teacher into the classroom," before "he made eye contact with the teacher again and looked her right in the eye and said, 'Good night' and then shot her and killed her."

The gunman, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, then opened fire on the classroom, killing the other teacher and many of Miah's classmates. Miah was hit with fragments of the bullets, the outlet reported. She has wounds on her back, shoulders, and back of her head.

Miah said the shooter then entered the adjoining classroom. Miah told CNN she could hear screams, gunfire, and music. Miah told the outlet that "he started blasting sad music," adding that, "she just said it sounded like 'I want people to die' music."

Miah said she was scared the gunman would come back, so she put her hand in her friend's blood, who lay beside her and already looked dead, and smeared it on herself in order to appear dead.

Miah and a few of her surviving classmates used the cellphone of one of their deceased teachers to call 911. Miah said she told the dispatcher, "Please send help because we're in trouble."

Miah said as she lay on the floor of the classroom, she just thought police hadn't gotten to the school yet but recalled later hearing about law enforcement waiting outside the school. During the interview, Miah cried, saying she didn't understand why the officers didn't go inside to get them.

Miah's family has started a GoFundMe specifically to pay for therapy for her. Authorities are working to answer rising questions about the police response to the shooting.

Reading about trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available: 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264

The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001

For more mental health resources, click HERE

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