Uvalde shooting survivor, 11, describes massacre to US Congress

Impassioned family members, victims and firearms advocates appear before politicians, who continue to bicker over bipartisan deal on gun-control laws

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The 11-year-old school pupil who survived the Uvalde mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers has recounted the horror she faced before US Congress as politicians try to find a compromise over gun-control legislation.

Miah Cerrillo said she is scared that gun violence could break out at her school again.

"[The gunman] told my teacher 'goodnight' and shot her in the head," Ms Cerrillo said in pre-recorded testimony.

"And then he shot some of my classmates and the white board.

"He shot my friend that was next to me ... and I thought he was going to come back to the room. I got the blood and put it all on me."

The killings at Robb Elementary School last month were part of a string of mass shootings in the US that has prompted bipartisan talks, though a deeply divided Senate will likely prevent any sweeping gun-control measures proposed by President Joe Biden.

A bipartisan group of senators is negotiating more modest proposals, including a "red flag" law that would keep firearms away from people who could do harm.

The parents of Lexi Rubio, one of the students killed, called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines but were less than hopeful that politicians would take any such actions.

Kimberly Rubio said: "We understand that for some reason, for some people — people with money to people who fund political campaigns — that guns are more important than children."

The parents also called on Congress to raise the age to buy weapons to 21, enact stronger background checks and cease firearms manufacturers' liability.

Republicans have long opposed proposals that would limit the sale of assault-style weapons, the type of firearm used in Uvalde and at a Buffalo supermarket in New York that killed 10 people in a racially inspired attack.

The mother of a survivor of the Buffalo shooting told Congress of how she felt the shrapnel inside her son while cleaning his wounds.

"Shrapnel will be left inside of his body for the rest of his life," said Zeneta Everhart, the mother of Zaire Goodman. "Now I want you to picture that exact scenario for one of your children.

"As an elected official it is your duty to draft legislation that protects right here and all of the children and citizens in this country. Common-sense gun laws are not about your personal feelings or beliefs."

Democrats have indicated that Republicans would be willing to support narrow gun legislation focusing on "red flag" laws, bolstering school security and providing greater access to mental health services.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would give negotiators more time to strike a deal before putting up a vote on a sweeping Democratic-led bill.

Updated: June 08, 2022, 7:50 PM
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