(CNN) — Fourth grader, Mia Cerillo, who was injured, was on the phone with the 911 operator when gunfire from the shooter hit Rob Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“He is shooting,” Mia is heard saying at 12:21 pm.
“Shut up, make sure everyone stays quiet,” the operator tells him.
It would be an additional 29 minutes before the officers caught and killed the shooter.
By this time, armed officers had been parked outside Connecting Classrooms 111 and 112, where they waited, talked, checked and looked for equipment, until a The team did not enter the classrooms and killed the shooter.
During the call, Mia and her classmate Khloe Torres, who survived, ask that agents be sent to help save them from the massacre in which 19 children and two teachers were killed in Uvalde.
Little did he know that 376 personnel from 23 local, state and federal agencies had reacted to the incident, many of whom were only feet away from him, his injured friends and teachers. At least one child and a teacher survived the attack but later died.
And now, Mia’s parents, Abigail Veloz and Miguel Cerillo, want all of those agents to hear the call of their daughter, who was injured in the shoulders and shrapnel in the head.
“If kids call and say they’re hurt or in class, that shows they really are cowards,” Cerillo said of the officers responding.
“All the officers out there should listen to this audio so they understand what the hell the kids are going through, and these suckers are out there.”
The chaotic and lengthy response on May 24 has been described as a failure for months. But the full details of what happened and when are still a secret and Texas’ top police officer did not provide the expected update at a public meeting last week. Instead, Colonel Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, listened to the anger of family members and acknowledged some wrongdoing, before saying that his officer had “not failed the community” of Uvalde.
Understanding your daughter’s suffering
Mia’s parents contacted CNN about 40 minutes before calling 911 about Mia’s classmate Khloe and giving details of the dead and injured in Room 112. entered the room to stop the attacker and remove the victims.
Khloe’s father, Ruben Torres, praised his daughter’s actions and again compared them to the officers’ inaction after hearing the 911 call. “That day, what he did was absolutely incredible,” he said of his daughter. Of the adults who responded, he said, “none of them had the courage that day.”
CNN obtained audio of the 18-minute 911 call from a source and is using it with the approval of Khloe and Mia’s parents. This call should have ended any suspicion or hesitation that the teen assailant was active, moving between two connected classrooms, that the children were trapped, injured and needed to be rescued.
On Wednesday, Mia’s parents heard the call for the first time and they said it helped them understand what Mia told them about that day and what she was going through.
They can hear him trying to help his teacher, Eva Miracles, who was shot and later died, while also giving Khloe his room number, who is new to Uvalde and the school. was. And when Khloe broadcasts the operator’s instruction to keep quiet to everyone, Mia tries to silence her fellow fourth graders, who are scared and hurt.
And then they hear her enter the line, taking over from Khloe, with the same clear and polite requests.
“Hello, can you please send help?” Mia asks at 12:19, 46 minutes when the attacker was seen entering the room, but was still apprehended 30 minutes earlier.
“Are they in the building?” She asks repeatedly about the law enforcement response. Her mother said that Mia believed officers were still trying to find a way to reach them, not imagining they were just a few feet away on the other side of the door.
Her family tried to keep her from learning more about the failed response, but last month she found a piece of body camera video online that showed distraction, delay and miscommunication.
“I was so mad,” Veloz said of Mia when she found out. “He couldn’t believe they were there.”
after the massacre
Mia was able to tell CNN a few days later how she smeared herself with blood and played dead in the hope that the attacker would leave her alone if she returned from the next class. He also testified before the US Congress, in a video message sent to a House committee investigating gun violence, in which he said he “wanted to be safe.”
Her mother said, These days, Mia finds it difficult to open up to strangers. The only people he trusts are his relatives.
Her parents said hearing her on the 911 call gave her a “mental image” of what she had said.
“Now we understand why he doesn’t want to go anywhere,” Veloz said.
They still find fragments of bullets embedded in his back, and the emotional toll is almost as visible.
“She is no longer Mia,” said her mother simply, remembering that her daughter loved to joke with her siblings and is now afraid of loud noises.
This week is Mia’s birthday. She will turn 12 on Friday. And her birthday wish, her mother said, is to keep calm and get out of Uvalde for the day.