Arnulfo Reyes, a Uvalde, Texas elementary school teacher, was watching a movie with his kids. It was two days before the start of their summer vacation. “What is going on?” some of the kids wondered as the thunderous explosions erupted.
Reyes said, “I don’t know what’s going on.” “But first, let’s get under the table.” Get under the table and pretend to be sleeping.”
It was the training that teachers and kids at Robb Elementary School had received just a few weeks before in the event of an armed attack — and it was, according to Reyes, worse than useless.
He turned around after sensing a presence behind him and saw a man brandishing a weapon. The intruder shot Reyes twice, once in the lung and causing him to fall to the ground. Then, while police stood in the hallway, he discharged shots indiscriminately at the 10- and 11-year-old youngsters in the classroom, as well as children in a neighboring room.
When the shooting ended, 19 children had been killed, including 11 of Reyes’ students. Two of his colleagues were as well.
On Tuesday, Reyes told ABC’s Good Morning America, “I feel very awful for the parents [of the deceased youngsters] because they lost a child.” “However, they did lose one child.” That day, I lost 11 pounds all at once.”
His television testimony of the mass murder at Robb Elementary School is one of the most terrible first-hand stories to emerge from the bloodiest school shooting in the United States since 26 people were massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012.
Reyes added to a growing chorus of voices decrying the police’s response in Uvalde that day, calling them “cowards,” speaking from a hospital bed in San Antonio where he has undergone five operations and had his blood supplied twice.
Pete Arredondo, the school district’s police chief, ordered more than a dozen cops to stand by in a campus hallway as children and instructors trapped nearby pleaded with 911 operators to save them from the intruder who had shot his grandmother earlier that day.