Fourth-grade teacher, Arnulfo Reyes, who was shot three times in the Texas elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, has condemned the police for the slow response and vowed that he would not let the 19 children and two teachers killed in the attack “die in vain.”
In an interview with ABC News, Arnulfo Reyes, who taught in room 111, recalled for the first time what happened during the May 24 massacre.
Reyes said some children had gone home after a special end-of-the-year awards ceremony the elementary school hosted that day, but 11 of his third and fourth grade students stayed.
They were watching a movie when they heard gunfire.
Reyes recalled to ABC News that he told the students to “get under the table” and “act like you’re asleep.” As they were doing that, Reyes said he turned around and saw the gunman, who shot him twice.
In the emotional interview with ABC, Reyes confirmed all 11 of his students were killed in the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.
“I tell my parents, ‘I’m sorry. I tried my best, what I was told to do,'” Reyes said. “Please don’t be angry with me.”
From his hospital room in San Antonio, Reyes heavily criticized the police response to the active shooter situation, saying that he and his students “had nothing” while officers waited outside the classroom wearing bulletproof vests.
“They’re cowards,” he said. “They sit there and did nothing for our community. They took a long time to go in… I will never forgive them.”
EXCLUSIVE: Arnulfo Reyes, teacher wounded in Uvalde shooting, to @arobach: “I will not let these children and my coworkers die in vain. I will not. I will go to the end of the world to not let my students die in vain.” https://t.co/0pvPuyw2g1 pic.twitter.com/uj1yZRAsAK
— Good Morning America (@GMA) June 7, 2022