An 11-year-old girl who survived the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, will tell her story to the House Oversight Committee Wednesday, as lawmakers address multiple recent tragedies.
Miah Cerrillo is a fourth grade student at the school where a shooter opened fire, taking the lives of 19 children and two teachers and injuring 17 others.
Cerrillo watched her friends and her teacher get killed, and smeared blood on her hands and face in order to play dead. Her father told Fox News that she had a panic attack after returning home.
While Cerrillo escaped with her life that day, Lexi Rubio was not as lucky. Rubio’s parents, Felix and Kimberly Rubio, will also speak at the hearing, as will Zeneta Everhart, whose son Zaire Goodman was shot during the shooting at a Tops grocery story in Buffalo, N.Y., 10 days earlier.
Goodman survived the attack, but in prepared remarks Everhart stated that “his mental wound will remain for the rest of his life.” She recalled how her son called her during the attack after he had been struck by a bullet.
“Mom, Mom, Mom, get here now I got shot,” she recalled him saying on the phone. She was finally able to reach him at a local hospital where he was being treated.
Goodman, who in her written testimony accused the U.S. of being “inherently violent … as a Nation,” called on lawmakers to make a change by passing stricter gun control legislation.
“As an elected official it is your duty to draft legislation that protects Zaire and all of the children and citizens in this country,” she said. “Common sense gun laws are not about your personal feelings or beliefs. You are elected because you have been chosen and are trusted to protect us but I say to you today, I do not feel protected.”
Also appearing at Wednesday hearing will be New York City Mayor Eric Adams. In prepared remarks, Adams noted that his state has strict gun laws, but claimed that illegal guns remain a problem. His city has recently seen shootings in its subway system, including a mass shooting in April that left 23 people injured. The suspect in that case, Frank James, allegedly used a handgun that was purchased legally.
In May, Goldman Sachs employee Daniel Enriquez was riding the subway when a stranger shot and killed him in what police believe was an unprovoked attack. Authorities say the suspect, Andrew Abdullah, used a gun that was reported stolen.
Gun control has been a key issue in Congress since the Uvalde and Buffalo attacks, but Democrats and Republicans have historically had difficulty agreeing on measures that would be effective while also protecting Second Amendment rights.
A recent legislative package from Democrats known as the “Protecting Our Kids Act” includes measures such as raising the age limit for purchasing semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21, and banning “high capacity” magazines that hold more than ten rounds.