School shooting survivor Arnulfo Reyes said he will ‘never forgive’ the police for ‘sitting there and doing nothing for our community’
Fourth grade teacher shot three times in Texas school massacre blasts cops for not intervening sooner
Gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in the Texas city during the rampage on May 24 in Uvalde, Texas
17 others were injured but survived
Strangely cops though at the scene, made no attempt to stop the shooter for more than an hour after Police Chief Pete Arrendondo changed the status from an active shooter to a barricaded suspect situation
Reyes reveals he only survived by playing dead for an hour after gunman killed all 11 of his students during spree
He said the reason he survived was because he played dead for an hour while the gunman was on the loose
All 11 of pupils in his class in Room 111 were murdered by the twisted killer, who was later shot dead by cops in the same classroom
As questions swirl around the tardy response of the Uvalde Police Department while very young children were being massacred along with their teachers by a lone gunman, a hero teacher who was shot three times in the Rob Elementary School shooting in Texas has branded cops ‘cowards’ for taking so long to raid the building.
Arnulfo Reyes who is recuperating from multiple gunshot wounds said he will ‘never forgive’ the police for ‘sitting there and doing nothing for our community’ during the deadly attack.
In an emotional interview, he also revealed the only reason he survived was because he played dead for over an hour while the gunman was on the loose
Reyes bears the emotional scars of witnessing 18-year-old Salvador Ramos gun down 19 hapless children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24.
Fourth-grade teacher Arnulfo Reyes spoke to ABC News. He’s recovering from multiple gunshot wounds after the shooting on May 24, which saw 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos kill all 11 of his students at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas
The fourth-grade teacher said all 11 of the pupils in his class in Room 111 were shot dead by the misfit, who had over an hour to spare before he was finally stopped cops. But, only after the toll of the rampage had risen to 19 dead and another 17 were left injured.
Reyes, who is a fourth-grade teacher, gave a heartbreaking interview from his hospital bed as he recovered from gunshot wounds to the arm, lung and back.
He told ABC News: ‘I feel so bad for the parents because they lost a child. But they lost one child. I lost 11 that day, all at one time.’
Reyes also revealed he was watching the animated The Addams Family movie with his students when he heard the first shots ringing out through the school.
‘The kids started asking out loud, ‘Mr. Reyes, what is going on,’ and I said ‘I don’t know what’s going on but let’s go ahead and get under the table… get under the table and act like you’re asleep,’ he told his students.
He explained that under the school’s protocols for school shootings students are trained to sit under their desks.
His account also highlighted failures in the school’s emergency protocols: ‘No training would ever prepare anybody for this,’ he said.
‘It all happened too fast. Training, no training, all kinds of training – nothing gets you ready for this.
‘We trained our kids to sot under the table and that’s what I thought of at the time,’ Reyes continues. ‘But we set them up to be like ducks,’ Reyes told ABC.
The 17-year veteran teacher said as he went to huddle under a table with the children, he turned around to see Ramos standing there – who then let off a burst of fire into the classroom, striking Reyes three times before he went on to shoot all of his students as cops stood back for more than an hour.
‘They’re cowards,’ Reyes said of the officers on the scene. ‘They sit there and did nothing for our community. They took a long time to go in.
‘I will never forgive them.’
Reyes offered a mind-numbing account of the horrific massacre, describing multiple encounters with Ramos.
Reyes was with his students in Room 111, one of the adjoining classrooms where the teenage shooter carried out the massacre and where he was killed by police.
After injuring and incapacitating the teacher, Ramos turned his AR-15 style rifle on his young students, most of them in their third and fourth grades. Survival instinct kicking in, Reyes took his own advice and feigned unconsciousness on the ground, as Ramos shot him again, this time piercing his back and lung.
The severely injured teacher heard Ramos working his way through classrooms, firing and continuing his spree. He also heard police officers outside his classroom as a student next door in Room 112, was calling out for help.
However, he said he thinks the police had left by that time, moving on down the corridor and so he didn’t hear the cries for help, while Ramos hid behind Reyes’ desk.
‘One of the students from the next-door classroom was saying, ‘Officer, we’re in here. We’re in here.’ But they had already left,’ Reyes said.
After that, Reyes said the shooter then got up from behind his desk and went back into room 112, and continued his rampage.
According to Reyes, officers eventually returned to Room 111 – his classroom – for a second time. He heard them pleading with Ramos to come out, assuring him that they just wanted to speak with him, and would not hurt him.
There was silence, he said, before cops finally breached the door and shot the gunman. Ramos died instantly. However, all 11 students in Room 111 were already dead.
Reyes also described in his interview how the school failed to properly prepare for such a shooting, despite holding active shooter drills, the last, just weeks before the shooting.
During those trainings, he said he noticed the outside door nearest his classroom would not lock.
‘When that would happen, I would tell my principal, ‘Hey, I’m going to get in trouble again, they’re going to come and tell you that I left my door unlocked, which I didn’t.’ ‘But the latch was stuck,’ Reyes said. Now, as he recovers from his gunshot wounds at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, Reyes is calling for more gun control, telling ABC News: ‘If you want to buy a gun, you want to own a gun, that’s fine.
‘But the age limit has to change,’ he said. ‘And I think they need to do more background checks on it. Things just have to change,’ Reyes said. ‘It must change.’
Reyes posted a public message on social media last week thanking friends for their prayers and love.
‘I have long journey ahead, but I know I’ll get through it. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who continue to grieve their loved ones,’ said Reyes, who runs a small plant and gift store when not teaching.
One student who survived the shooting, 10-year-old Khloie Torres, told a 911 dispatcher at 12:10 pm – after the shooting had started – ‘There is a lot of bodies.’
Khloie added that one of her teachers had been shot but was still alive and begged for help from Room 112.
‘I don’t want to die, my teacher is dead, my teacher is dead, please send help, send help for my teacher, she is shot but still alive,’ the desperate girl pleaded.
The fourth-grader did not specify if it was Irma Garcia or Eva Mireles- the two teachers shot and killed- who was injured.
The 10-year-old stayed on the line for about 17 minutes- and 11 minutes into the call, the sound of gunfire could be heard in the background.
Khloie said her fourth grade classroom in Room 112 were watching a movie when her teacher, Irma Garcia, told the class to go into lockdown- turning off the movie and rushing to lock the classroom door, the Times reported.
But Garcia struggled to find the keys to the door and by the time she found the right key 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos was outside the door.
‘He grabbed the door, and he opened it,’ Khloie said.
As Khloie and her classmates hid under tables she said she heard Ramos say ‘you’ll die’ and fire his gun while Garcia tried to protect her students. The 10-year-old said she also heard Ramos say ‘good night’ before shooting at her classmates.
When one student who was struck shouted out ‘I’m shot’ he caught Ramos’s attention, who returned to the wounded child and shot them dead, Khloie told the Times.
As Ramos moved between the adjoining classroom where teacher Eva Mireles was, Khloie said she took the chance to call out quietly: ‘Is anybody OK? Is anybody hurt?’ to which one classmate responded: ‘Yeah’.
‘Just be quiet, so he doesn’t come back in here,’ Khloie said she replied.
She said one of her other classmates asked for help getting Ms. Garcia’s body off her.
The 10-year-old’s call came 37 minutes after Ramos entered the campus and an entire 40 minutes before authorities swooped in and shot and killed the gunman.
Her 911 call is another piece of evidence that proves if police had acted more swiftly lives could have been saved.
Tensions are growing between the state and local authorities over how police handled the shooting and communicated what happened to the public, while calls are growing for gun control legislation to be introduced.
Ramos slipped through an unlocked door into adjoining fourth-grade classrooms at 11:33, authorities said and spent roughly 80 minutes inside the school, and more than an hour passed from when the first officers followed him into the building and when he was killed by law enforcement, according to an official timeline.
A minute-by-minute break down of how cops waited outside class while kids called 911 after gunman walked through door that had been propped open by a teacher shows that Salvador Ramos crashed his truck at 11.28 am, which he abandoned clutching an AR-15. Witnesses in a funeral home next to the school called 911 to report sighting a man with a gun walking towards the school.
Within five minutes he was in the parking lot of Robb Elementary school. He starts shooting at the school building using the parked vehicles as camouflage.
The shooting began at 11.31am.
A minute later the school resource officer who arrived in a patrol car after hearing 911 call about truck crash, but proceeds to drive past the shooter. Unchallenged, the gunman was inside the school building in a couple minutes.
His first attacked rooms 111 and 112, where he fired more than 100 rounds.
Three minutes into the school house rampage at 11.35am, three police officers from the Uvalde Police Department entered the same propped door used by the suspect. They were later joined by another four cops, swelling the total of officers on scene to seven.
However, after they were grazed by bullets in a direct approach to the closed door the first responding officers retreated and refused to approach again
Continuing his rampage the shooter allegedly, fired another 16 rounds inside the classroom. However, at this point the Police sergeant and US Border guards had arrived and the by noon, more cops had entered the building, numbering up to 19 officers in that hallway at that time.
Law enforcement received a call at 12.03 a girl from inside the classroom who called 911 and whispers that she is in room 112. Seven minutes later the same girl calls back and advises ‘there are multiple dead’. With rescue not forthcoming, she called back three minutes later.
A minute after the BORTAC (SWAT) members arrive with shields at 12.15pm, the same little girl called 911 for the fourth time in 13 minutes asking for help. She let cops know there are ‘8-9 students alive’ in classroom 112.
Still awaiting help at 12.19pm, a different child from classroom 111 called 911, only to hang up after another student told her to be quiet, only for the gunman to resume firing within a couple of minutes.
Almost a half hour later one of the children who called earlier, dialed 911 again at 12.26pm and told the operator that the gunman had just ‘shot at the door’.
At 12.43pm relief had not come as the girl was still on the line pleading ‘please send the police now’. But it was not until 12.50pm that law enforcement finally breached the door using keys from the janitor.
The killed gunman immediately and started moving children out of the room.
The state agency investigating the mass shooting has determined that the commander facing criticism for the slow police response was not carrying a radio as the massacre unfolded, a Texas state senator said on Friday.
Sen. Roland Gutierrez told The Associated Press in a brief telephone interview that a Texas Department of Public Safety official told him school district police Chief Pete Arredondo was without a radio during the May 24 attack.
Authorities have not said how Arredondo was communicating with other law enforcement officials at the scene, including the more than a dozen officers who were at one point waiting outside the classroom where the gunman was holed up.
Arredondo heads the district’s small department and was in charge of the multi-agency response to the shooting.
President Joe Biden and the First Lady join members of a heart-broken community gathered to mourn at the site of the massacre before first of the Uvalde school shooting funerals
The Justice Department has said it will review the law enforcement response.
Focus has turned to the chief in recent days after Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Arredondo believed the active shooting had turned into a hostage situation, and that he made the ‘wrong decision’ to not order officers to breach the classroom more quickly to confront the gunman.
Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde, complained Thursday that Arredondo was not informed of panicked 911 calls coming from students trapped inside a classroom where the gunman had holed up. The Democrat called it a ‘system failure.’