11-year-old Uvalde shooting survivor who played dead after calling 911 said she doesn't understand why the police stayed outside as the gunman's rampage continued

·3 min read
Police officers stand near a makeshift memorial for the shooting victims at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 26, 2022.
Police officers stand near a makeshift memorial for the shooting victims at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 26, 2022.Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images
  • A girl who survived the Uvalde shooting said she can't understand why police didn't come sooner.

  • Miah Cerrillo, 11, used her dead teacher's phone to call 911 during the shooter's rampage.

  • But authorities didn't breach the building until nearly an hour after the shooting began.

Amid disturbing reports that Texas police refused to send officers into the elementary school where a mass shooting was unfolding for nearly an hour on Tuesday, a fourth-grade girl who survived the massacre said she can't understand why law enforcement officials didn't come rescue her and her classmates sooner.

Eleven-year-old Miah Cerrillo shared a heartbreaking account of the time that passed in her classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire, killing 19 of her classmates and two teachers.

As the attack unfolded Cerrillo covered herself in her dying friend's blood to play dead in a desperate attempt to survive. The ordeal felt like three agonizing hours, the young girl told CNN this week.

Despite calling 911 and speaking with dispatch, Miah said she initially thought the police somehow hadn't arrived yet as she lay waiting among her classmates for nearly an hour.

It was only after the shooting, that Miah said she heard grownups talking about how the police had actually been standing outside the school while the gunman's rampage continued.

CNN's Nora Neus, who interviewed the young girl and her mother, said Miah couldn't comprehend why they waited so long.

"Why didn't they come in? Why didn't they save us? The police were outside?" are the types of questions Neus said Miah was struggling to wrap her 11-year-old brain around in the aftermath of the tragedy.

 

Officials on Friday acknowledged that local police wouldn't let a tactical squad of federal agents immediately go into the school to stop the gunman and were forced to wait nearly an hour to respond because the on-scene commander at the time erroneously believed that the risk to the children was over. Border Patrol officials eventually decided to disregard instructions from local police and enter the classroom to shoot the gunman.

Policing experts this week told Insider that "every second counts" when responding to an active shooter situation, and that the longer a threat is allowed to remain on the premises, the more lives will be lost.

Miah, who is so afraid of men in the wake of the shooting that she would only speak to a female reporter, told CNN that she and a friend were able to take a phone off of their dead teacher and call 911. She made contact and said that she begged for help and kept repeating "we're in trouble."

Students at the school made at least eight calls to 911 after the gunman entered adjoining classrooms and opened fire, officials said Friday.

Miah's family told The New York Times that they have not yet been able to hug the young girl because there are bullet fragments still in her back. Miah told CNN that clumps of her hair have been falling out because of the fragment wounds.

Miah told CNN that she wanted to share her story to help other children. The young girl said she wants the world to know what she saw and what she survived.

Read the original article on Insider