More than two weeks after she survived the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School by covering herself in her friend’s blood, 11-year-old Miah Cerrillo appeared before Congress to share her experience and push for school safety.
In a recorded testimony shown before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday, Miah recalled how she saw the gunman shoot her teacher in the head and turn his gun on everyone else in two adjoining classrooms. Two fourth-grade teachers and 19 students ended up dying at the Uvalde school.
She looked at her deceased classmate, dipped her hands in the blood, spread it all over her body, and played dead, she said.
“(I) just stayed quiet,” she said in the testimony, adding that she was also able to grab her teacher’s phone and call 911.
She told the dispatcher they needed help and told them to send the police.
The gunman was inside the school for roughly 80 minutes before law enforcement shot him.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said the commander at the scene, Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo, did not send in officers sooner because he believed it was a hostage situation and as if children were no longer at risk.
Miah said she wants schools to “have security,” and she is afraid to go back to class.
“I don’t want it to happen again,” she said.
She nodded yes when asked if she believed the violence is going to happen again at school.
Her father, Miguel, spoke to lawmakers after Miah’s testimony was played.
He said his daughter is not the same girl as before the May 24 massacre.
“I came because I could’ve lost my baby girl,” Cerrillo said. “And she’s not the same little girl that I used to play with and run around with and do everything, because she was Daddy’s little girl.”
“I wish something will change, not only for our kids but every single kid in the world because schools are not safe anymore. Something really needs to change,” he said.
Miah’s story was one of several accounts in Wednesday’s hearing on gun violence in America.
Uvalde County Sheriff’s deputy Felix Rubio and his wife, Kimberly, who lost their daughter, 10-year-old Alexandria “Lexi” in the shooting, also testified.
Dr. Roy Guerrero, Uvalde’s only pediatrician, also appeared before Congress.
The committee also heard from parents of victims and survivors of the mass shooting in Buffalo, which happened less than two weeks before the Uvalde massacre.
In that racist attack against Black shoppers, the shooter used an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle to kill 10 people and seriously injure three.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the chairwoman of the Oversight Committee, said the hearing will examine the human impact of gun violence and the urgency for lawmakers to enact gun control legislation.
“It is my hope that all my colleagues will listen with an open heart as gun violence survivors and loved ones recount one of the darkest days of their lives,” Maloney said in a statement. “This hearing is ultimately about saving lives, and I hope it will galvanize my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation to do just that.”
WATCH: Congress hears from victims, parents of Robb Elementary and Uvalde’s only pediatrician