Uvalde teacher who lost all 11 kids in his classroom says ‘there is no excuse’ for officers’ delay in taking down gunman

By Amanda Musa and Jason Hanna, CNN

(CNN) – A teacher who was wounded in last month’s massacre at a Texas elementary school told ABC his students were watching a movie when they heard gunshots — and asked him what was going on.

All of Arnulfo Reyes’ 11 students would be among the 19 children and two teachers killed by a gunman who stormed two adjoining classrooms at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24.

“The kids started asking out loud, ‘Mr. Reyes, what is going on?'” Reyes told ABC’s Amy Robach in an interview aired Monday on “World News Tonight with David Muir.”

“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.’

“As they were doing that, and I was gathering them under the table and told them to act like they’re going to sleep, is about the time when I turned around and saw him standing there.”

The gunman opened fire, striking Reyes; one bullet went through his arm and lung, and another hit his back, ABC reported.

Reyes couldn’t move after being shot, he said, and the shooter then turned his gun on the students.

Officers could be heard outside the classroom, and a child in another classroom pleaded for police to help, Reyes said. But Reyes thinks by that time, officers had retreated down a hallway, he told ABC.

“One of the students from the next-door classroom was saying, ‘Officer, we’re in here. We’re in here,'” he said. “But they had already left.

The 18-year-old gunman, Salvador Ramos, shot students and teachers in Reyes’ classroom — room 111 — and an adjoining one, authorities said. He was in the classrooms for more than an hour before he was shot and killed by a Border Patrol tactical response team, a timeline provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows.

Officers had responded within minutes of the suspect entering the classroom yet were repelled by the gunman’s fire and then stationed in a hallway awaiting reinforcements, even as children inside called 911 and begged for police help, the timeline indicates.

Reyes played dead for 77 minutes until the Border Patrol team took Ramos down, he told ABC.

CNN’s Travis Caldwell contributed to this report.


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