A Robb Elementary School fourth-grader survived Tuesday’s attack by covering herself in her classmate’s blood and pretending to be dead, her aunt told KPRC.
Miah Cerrillo, 11, saw her teacher and classmates die Tuesday when 18-year-old alleged gunman Salvador Ramos stormed the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and opened fire, Aunt Blanca Rivera said, according to the outlet.
At least 19 children and two teachers died in the carnage, which was the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. since 26 children died in the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in 2012.
When she saw them shot, Cerrillo went into survival mode, Rivera told KPRC.
“My sister-in-law said that [Miah] saw her friend full of blood, and she got blood and put it on herself,” Rivera told the outlet.
While she wasn’t shot, Cerrillo was hospitalized with injuries, including bullet fragments lodged in her back.
Miah’s father, Miguel Cerrillo, told The Washington Post he “panicked” when he saw a law enforcement agent carrying his daughter out of the school covered in blood.
Miguel Cerrillo said the officer loaded his daughter into a yellow school bus, where he could only speak to her through the window.
Miah reportedly told her father she saw her teacher, Eva Mireles, shot and a phone fall from her teacher’s hand. Miah grabbed it and called 911.
Cerrillo reportedly said his daughter told him she lay on top of a classmate after she was shot so the gunman would think they were both dead.
Her classmate was still breathing at first, Miah reportedly told her father, but she died before help came.
After she was treated for her injuries and released from Uvalde Memorial Hospital, Miah was overwhelmed by fear and told her father to get his gun because “[the shooter is] going to come get us,” Miguel Cerrillo told the Post.
Rivera told KPRC that her niece is having difficulty coping with Tuesday’s tragic events.
“Around midnight, my sister-in-law called me, and she was just crying like, ‘I think it just hit Miah. I think everything came to reality. We’re home, and she’s just crying and having a panic attack,'” Rivera said. “At this point, we just have to pray and ask God to help us move forward through this situation. I know it’s traumatizing, and having an 11-year-old go through this, I can’t imagine what she’s feeling.”