Surviving Uvalde Teacher Will 'Never Forgive' Police

All 11 children in Arnulfo Reyes' classroom were killed in mass shooting
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2022 4:51 PM CDT

A teacher who survived the Uvalde mass shooting says there is "no excuse" for police standing by for 77 minutes while children and teachers were killed. Arnulfo Reyes is hospitalized with gunshot wounds and grieving the two teachers and 19 students who were killed—including all 11 third and fourth-graders in his classroom. He tells ABC that he was expecting May 24 to be a "good day" and had been planning to show the childen an Addams Family movie—and when he heard bangs, he told the children they should get " under the table and act like you’re asleep." He says that when he was trying to get them under a table, he turned around and saw the gunman.

Reyes was shot twice, with one bullet hitting his arm and lung and another hitting his back, the Washington Post reports. He says he "prayed and prayed that I would not hear none of my students talk." Reyes says the shooter rose from behind a desk and fired after one student in the adjoining classroom called out, " Officer, officer, we're in here, we’re in here." He says police were "cowards" and he will "never forgive them" for the delayed response. "You have a bulletproof vest," he says. "I had nothing." He says he tells parents, "I’m sorry. I tried my best, what I was told to do. Please don’t be angry with me."

Reyes says training can't prepare teachers for an active shooter situation, NBC reports. "Nothing gets you ready for this," he says. "We trained our kids to sit under the table, and that’s what I thought at the time, but we set them up to be like ducks." He says he will now devote himself to trying to make sure this never happens again. "The only thing that I know is that I won't let these children and my co-workers die in vain," he says. "I will go to the end of the world to make sure things get changed. If that's what I have to do for the rest of my life, I will do it." (More Uvalde mass shooting stories.)

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