AFP — An 11-year-old who smeared herself with her murdered friend’s blood to play dead during last month’s school shooting in the US state of Texas relived the horror of her ordeal before a panel of lawmakers on Wednesday.
Miah Cerrillo, a fourth grader at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, recounted in terrifying detail the moments when 19 of her schoolmates and two teachers were killed by an 18-year-old gunman.
“He… told my teacher ‘goodnight’ and then shot her in the head. And then he shot some of my classmates and the white board,” Miah said in a brief but gut-wrenching pre-recorded interview.
Miah recalled how she kept completely silent, before grabbing her dead teacher’s cell phone when the moment came and dialing 911.
Police in Uvalde have come under intense scrutiny after it emerged that more than a dozen officers waited outside the door of Miah’s class and did nothing as the children lay dead or dying.
“To have security,” she said, confirming that she feared a mass shooter could target her school again.
– ‘Pulverized by bullets’ –
“She’s not the same little girl I used to play with,” he told the committee.
Massacres at Miah’s school and days earlier at a supermarket in Buffalo, in upstate New York, have convulsed the nation, reigniting urgent calls for gun safety reforms.
“My son Zaire has a hole in the right side of his neck, two on his back and another on his left leg, caused by an exploding bullet from an AR-15,” Everhart told lawmakers.
Roy Guerrero, a pediatrician who attended to several victims in Uvalde, spoke of encountering “two children whose bodies had been pulverized by bullets fired at them, decapitated, whose flesh had been ripped apart.”
A cross-party group of senators is working on a narrow collection of controls that could develop into their first serious attempt at gun regulation reform in decades.
Crucially, the package does not include an assault weapons ban or universal background checks, meaning it will fall short of the expectations of President Joe Biden, progressive Democrats, and anti-gun violence activists.
On the other side of the Capitol, House Democrats are set to pass the much broader package of proposals later Wednesday that includes raising the purchasing age for semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.
Garnell Whitfield Jr, the son of Buffalo massacre victim Ruth Whitfield, who was 86, testified Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee on white supremacist violence.