Survivors of the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers are beginning to share their stories, painting a graphic and horrifying picture of the tragedy that unfolded that day.
Miah Cerrillo, 11, told a CNN producer her fourth-grade class was watching Disney’s Lilo & Stitch when the gunman entered the classroom and made eye contact with her teacher and shot her dead, as well as some of her other classmates.
Miah smeared her friend’s blood all over her body to make it look like she was dead in case the gunman returned from the adjoining classroom. She escaped alive, but was wounded.
A teacher at Robb elementary who did not provide her name to NBC News immediately ran to lock her classroom door when she heard gunshots down the hall. She said her students had practiced active shooter drills for years.
She said: “They knew this wasn’t a drill. We knew we had to be quiet or else we were going to give ourselves away.” The teacher called the ordeal the longest 35 minutes of her life.
Paramedic Angel Garza arrived on the scene at Robb elementary and learned his stepdaughter, Amerie Jo, was among the dead. He learned the news from Amerie’s best friend, who told him the blood in which she was covered belonged to his stepdaughter.
Samuel Salinas, 10, ended up with bullet fragments in his leg after the gunman entered his classroom and fired multiple rounds. Samuel told ABC News: “He shot my teacher and then he shot the kids. I think he was aiming at me.”
Edward Timothy, a second-grader at Robb elementary described the shooting sound to CNN as “popping … kind of like fireworks”. He recalled an adult woman entering his classroom, turning off the lights and telling the children to hide under their desks. He said: “I learned that we were having a real drill. We practiced a lot. We were safe because we practiced.” Edward said he now had a fear of guns and someone shooting him.
One mother of a third-grader told Motherly: “I do not want my son to go to school in America any more.”