11-year-old Uvalde survivor Miah Cerrillo is one of the few to make it out alive from the classroom at Robb Elementary school in Texas where a horrible massacre occurred. But after witnessing something so heinous, the traumatized girl certainly needs our prayers. Yet, even after all she’s been through, Miah Cerrillo is bravely choosing to share her story in the hopes it will help save lives in the future.
***WARNING: This story discusses a topic and includes images that may be considered too disturbing for some audiences***
Miah almost wasn’t at school on May 24, 2022, when a deeply disturbed young man walked into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, wearing body armor and firing an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle. She’d been at the doctor that morning for an earache. And her mother gave her the option of staying home.
The sweet girl, however, declined. She wanted to go to school to see all of her friends before the school year ended. Sadly, many of those friends wouldn’t live to see Summer Break.
School Shooting In Uvalde, Texas
Abigale Veloz, the mother of Miah Cerrillo, dropped her daughter off at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, shortly before the unthinkable occurred. It’s a decision she’ll likely always regret because just one hour later, an 18-year-gunman stormed the classroom where Miah and her classmates were watching a movie.
Miah says it all happened so fast. Just as the teachers in the shared classroom were receiving word of an active shooter in the building, it was already too late. The armed intruder arrived just then before the teacher could finish closing the door. He forced his way inside and barricaded the classroom.
The 11-year-old Uvalde survivor recalls the shooter saying, “Goodnight” just before killing the teacher who’d been trying to secure the classroom. He then opened fire on the students and the other teacher.
Miah watched in horror as bullets hit her friends. Miraculously, she wasn’t directly shot herself. But bullet fragments struck her in the head and shoulders. As the shooter moved into the adjoining room, Miah feared he’d come back to kill her, too. And so, she did what she had to in order to survive.
Miah Cerrillo saw blood all around her. The blood of her friends and classmates. She reached her hand into the pool of blood coming from the dead body next to her — Miah’s own friend — and smeared it all over herself. She pretended to be dead so that the shooter would think he’d already killed her.
“She put her hands in her friend’s blood and then smeared it all over her body. She wanted to look like she was dead,” said the reporter to whom Miah told her story.
Miah and a classmate also managed to get a cell phone belonging to one of their dead teachers. They used to call for help and just kept telling the dispatcher, “Please come … we’re in trouble.” Sadly, though, the shooter held the room captive for roughly an hour. Of course, to Miah, it felt excruciatingly longer as she lay covered in her friend’s blood waiting for rescue.
It’s heartbreaking to think a fourth-grader was forced to make this kind of decision. But her quick thinking saved her life. The 11-year-old Uvalde survivor played dead and lived to eventually escape and tell the tale because of it.
11-Year-Old Uvalde Survivor Shares Her Story
Miah Cerrillo and only a few others survived the shooting at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. However, the two teachers in the classroom, Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia, along with 19 of their students, lost their lives on May 24, 2022.
It was the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since the one at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012. And it’s not the first time Miah Cerrillo has evaded death.
Miah’s mother says she was a miracle baby. Born with a tumor in her abdomen, doctors didn’t expect the tiny girl to live long. But she surprised them all, surviving until age three when doctors removed the tumor during an extensive surgery.
It’s impossible for us to make sense of why this horrendous tragedy occurred and why some lived and some died. It’s made worse by outside circumstances that coalesced and seemed to only aid the shooter in his quest for bloodshed.
Evil won the battle that day. But we must have faith in the knowledge that Jesus has already won the war. God has a reason for Miah surviving this horrible incident, just as He did when she survived as a baby.
Miah Cerrillo may have escaped with her life, but the horror from the classroom followed her home. Physically she is ok. But what she witnessed continues to play inside her mind, continuing to traumatize the 11-year-old Uvalde survivor. She endured worse than most of us can even fathom. And yet, she still has the courage to share her story in the hopes it will help prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.
WATCH: 11-Year-Old Uvalde Survivor Speaks Out
These types of true stories hit so hard because they are a painful reminder of the evil that exists in this imperfect world. The battle is just as spiritual as it is physical. And that’s why prayer is such an important response to atrocities like the Uvalde school shooting.
The grief is heavy and it will be a long, hard road for the families of Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. But darkness will not win. Love is already fighting back against the evil in the support pouring in from the community.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn’t overcome it.” John 1:5
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