Injured Uvalde teacher who lost 11 children in his class: “I did my best”

Fourth grade teacher Arnulfo Reyes was in his classroom at Robb Elementary School on May 24 when a gunman entered the room and killed 11 of his students. The teacher, who was injured in the shooting, opened up about what he saw that day in a moving interview with ‘Good Morning America’.

“It was our typical morning – we had breakfast together,” said Reyes, who has been teaching for 17 years.

He said “it was going to be a good day” – the children were excited because there was an awards ceremony at school that morning, and some students who had not received awards from the whole year were finally going to have one. While some children went home after the ceremony, 11 of his students stayed in school and started a film.

When gunshots began to ring out throughout the school, Reyes said he followed protocol and asked the children to get under the table and act like they were sleeping.

“As they were doing this, and I was gathering them under the table and telling them to act like they were going to sleep, that’s about when I turned around and saw him stand there,” Reyes said.

The shooter entered room 111 through a connecting door from classroom 112 and opened fire. Reyes was hit in the arm, lung and back. When he fell to the ground, Reyes said he followed the same advice he gave his children: pretend to sleep.

“And I prayed and prayed not to hear any of my students speak,” Reyes said, adding that he thought he was going to die.

He then heard the authorities enter the school. After a student in the nearby classroom called for officers for help, Reyes said the shooter returned to room 112 and opened fire again.

More than an hour after the shooter entered the school, Border Patrol stormed in, shot him and killed him.

“After that, there were just bullets everywhere,” Reyes said. “And then I just remember Border Patrol saying, ‘Get up. Get up.’ And I couldn’t get up.”

Shooting left a total of 19 children and 2 adults dead.

Arnulfo Reyes

Elemental Robb

In the weeks following the shooting, police in Uvalde had to deal sharp criticism for their actions that day, particularly the response time between when the active shooter was first reported and when authorities finally entered the classrooms. Preliminary results of a Texas Department of Public Safety investigation found this the officers thought they had more time to gather the equipment, and the scene changed from an active shooter to a barricaded subject.

“It was not the right decision,” said Steven McCraw, director of Texas DPS. “It was the wrong decision not to rape.”

Reyes also criticized the police response, calling the officers cowards for not entering the school sooner. He said there was “no excuse” for their actions and he would “never forgive them”.

“After all, I’m getting angrier and angrier because you had a bulletproof vest on,” Reyes said. “I had nothing.”

There were 11 students in his class when the shooter entered, and all were killed. In the interview, Reyes mourned his students and begged their families and parents for forgiveness.

“And to the parents, I want to say: I’m sorry. I did my best, what I was told to do,” he said. “Please don’t be mad at me.”

Reyes said no amount of active shooter training could have protected them from the shooter.

“It all happened too fast. Practice, no practice, all kinds of practice, nothing prepares you for that. We trained our kids to sit under the table, and that’s what I thought. , at the time, that we set them up to be like sitting ducks,” he said. “You can give us all the training you want, but gun laws have to change. .”

Now he’s determined to keep their memories alive, and while he’s not sure he’ll ever teach again, he’s determined to make sure the laws change so a shoot like this will not happen again.

“The only thing I know is that I will not let these children and my colleagues die in vain,” Reyes said. “I will go anywhere – to the end of the world – so as not to let my students die in vain. They did not deserve this – no one in this world deserves this kind of pain, no mother, no one deserves this .”

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