For Miah Cerrillo, a split-second choice may have saved her life in a terrifying tragedy.
The 11-year-old student at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, recalled the morning of May 24, when a 18-year-old gunman opened fire in her classroom.
Miah told CNN that after the gunman had targeted her fourth-grade class—taking the lives of teachers Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles, as well as many of her friends—he moved to an adjoining classroom. While he was next door, Miah said she and a friend managed to grab their teacher's cellphone to call 911, telling the dispatcher, "Please come ... we're in trouble."
Fearing he would return, Miah said she took blood from a slain classmate and rubbed it on herself to play dead.
The grade schooler recalled laying on the floor for what felt like hours under the assumption police had not yet responded to the shooting. When Miah was finally rescued, she was taken to a the hospital for treatment of bullet fragment wounds, per CNN.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Christopher Olivarez, the 21 victims whose lives were taken were all in the same fourth-grade class. In addition, at least 17 other victims were injured.
In a May 25 press conference, Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said that the alleged gunman bought a semi-automatic rifle from a sporting goods store on March 17. He purchased over 375 rounds of ammunition on March 18, according to McCraw, then returned two days later to the same sporting goods store and bought another semi-automatic rifle.
The alleged perpetrator was shot and killed at the scene by law enforcement, McCraw said.
Miah's mother, Abigale Veloz, shared in a GoFundMe campaign set up to help cover her child's medical expenses that the fourth grader "will need a lot of help with all the trauma" she experienced in the ordeal. "My daughter is amazing person," she wrote, adding that Miah is a "very good sister to her siblings."