Girl survived Texas school shooting by 'smearing blood on herself and playing dead'

Miah Cerillo, 11, managed to call 911 while the shooter was still in the building. Credit: NBC DFW

A girl who watched as her teacher was killed in the Texas school shooting survived by lying on top of her classmate's body and smearing the girl's blood on herself to "play dead".

Miah Cerillo's father has told of how the 11-year-old grabbed a mobile phone from her teacher's lifeless hand and called 911.

Miguel Cerrillo told the Washington Post Miah climbed on top of a bleeding classmate so the gunman would think they were both dead.

At first her friend was still breathing, but she died before help arrived, according to the Washington Post.

"Miah got some blood and put it on herself so she could pretend she was dead," her aunt Blanca Rivera told local TV station NBC DFW.

"It's too much for me to play that scene over and over again, but that's what my sister-in-law said is that she saw her friend full of blood and she got blood and put it on herself," she said.

Some of the victims of Tuesday's shooting.

Nineteen children and two teachers were murdered on Tuesday, in America's deadliest school shooting in a decade.

Miah's parents had a terrifying wait outside the Uvalde school while the gunman was still inside. They eventually watched as their daughter was carried out by a policeman, covered in blood.

She was taken to hospital with bullet fragments in her neck, and her hair was singed by gunfire.

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The Washington Post reported that Miah spent Tuesday night gripped by fear telling her father to get his gun because "he's going to come get us".

Details of the timings of events and the police response are still emerging, but authorities are facing questions about their response, especially after it was confirmed that the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was inside for an hour before they entered.

Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Travis Considine said Ramos entered Robb Elementary School and began his rampage at 11.40am on Tuesday.

A Border Patrol tactical unit began trying to get inside an hour later, and at 12:58pm, radio chatter noted he was dead.

The amount of time that elapsed has stirred anger among family members, who demanded to know why police did not enter the school and put a stop to the rampage more quickly.Witnesses were reportedly shouting at the police to go inside and accost the gunman, who was eventually shot and killed by officers.