Uvalde and Buffalo families, survivor to testify before House Oversight panel

A man kneels in front of a memorial at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Salvatore Di Grazia, a teacher visiting from Rio Grande Valley, Texas, prays at a memorial at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas Monday, May 30, 2022, for the victims killed in last week’s school shooting.

Family members of victims of the Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y., mass shootings — as well as a survivor of one of the massacres — are set to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee next week.

The hearing, slated for Wednesday, comes less than a month after a gunman fatally shot 10 Black individuals at a grocery store in Buffalo and the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde that killed 19 children and two adults.

Miah Cerrillo, an 11-year-old student from Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, is one of nine individuals scheduled to speak, according to a Friday announcement from the committee. Miah told CNN last week that she covered herself in her classmate’s blood and played dead to protect herself amid the violence.

The 11-year-old girl also provided CNN with key details of what occurred in the classroom when the massacre was ongoing, including that the shooter told a teacher “goodnight” before shooting her and that he played music amid the attack.

Felix Rubio and Kimberly Rubio — the parents of Alexandria “Lexi” Rubio, 10, who was killed during the Uvalde shooting — are also slated to testify, in addition to Zeneta Everhart, the mother of Zaire Goodman, 20, who was injured in the shooting at the Buffalo supermarket.

Roy Guerrero, a pediatrician from Uvalde, is also on the witness list for Wednesday’s hearing.

Additionally, the hearing will feature testimony from Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, top figures from two gun control groups and the president of the National Education Association.

Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said she is “turning my anger into action” following the spate of recent mass shootings.

“Our hearing will examine the terrible impact of gun violence and the urgent need to rein in the weapons of war used to perpetrate these crimes,” Maloney said in a statement.

“It is my hope that all my colleagues will listen with an open heart as gun violence survivors and loved ones recount one of the darkest days of their lives,” she added.

The New York Democrat said the hearing is “about saving lives, and I hope it will galvanize my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation to do just that.”

The scheduled testimony comes as lawmakers in both chambers are looking to pass gun legislation.

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced a package of gun bills, which the full chamber is scheduled to vote on next week. The House is also slated to vote next week on a bill that would nationalize red flag laws, which are meant to keep firearms away from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.

On the Senate side, members are engaging in negotiations in an attempt to cobble together a bill that can garner at least 10 GOP votes to overcome a legislative filibuster. Red flag legislation has emerged as a leading option in the upper chamber.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee has already taken steps in the wake of the mass shootings, including sending letters to five top manufacturers of semi-automatic rifles to ask for particulars regarding the production, marketing and sale of the firearms.

Tags Buffalo Buffalo mass shooting buffalo shooting Buffalo shootings Carolyn Maloney Gun control gun deaths Gun reform gun violence Mass shootings Texas school shooting uvalde Uvalde school shooting Uvalde shooting
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