GRAPHIC: ‘I lost 11’: Uvalde teacher speaks out as sole survivor of classroom shooting
UVALDE, Texas (KABB) - A teacher who survived the Uvalde mass shooting is speaking out as he mourns the loss of his 11 students.
WARNING: Story and video in this story contains details that some may find disturbing.
Preparations for summer break were underway in classroom 111 at Robb Elementary on May 24 as fourth-grade teacher Arnulfo Reyes and his students watched a movie, unaware of the horror they would soon face.
“No training, no nothing would have ever prepared anybody for that,” Reyes said.
Reyes said shortly after finishing an awards ceremony, they heard booms getting closer and louder.
“The kids start asking, ‘What’s going on?’ Because it’s just very loud,” Reyes said. “You start seeing pieces of the wall falling off, like sheetrock flying everywhere.”
Reyes said he had his students hide under a table and pretend to sleep.
After he told them that, all he remembers is getting shot.
He said he fell to the ground and described in detail his encounter with the gunman moments after being shot.
“He tried to make me flinch. Spilled water on my back, cold water. I had a cup on a table, and he spilled it on me. I didn’t move,” Reyes said.
“He did the cell phone thing, where he dropped it on my back because I was getting calls and texts. The last thing he did to me was, he splashed blood on my face. My blood that was coming out of my arm.”
Reyes said after that he lost track of time, saying that it felt like an eternity.
He said that when the gunman was finally killed, Reyes was dragged into the hallway by a first responder after realizing he could not move.
“He dragged me to the hallway, put a tourniquet on my arm,” he said.
On Tuesday a nearly hour-and-a-half-long video from inside Robb Elementary during the mass shooting was released by the Austin American-Statesman.
Just hours before, it was announced families of the victims would view that video on Sunday.
Among the people under fire for their response to the mass shooting that killed 21 is the school district’s police chief, Pete Arredondo, who happens to be Reyes’ cousin.
“I want to set the record straight. I don’t blame him personally. It was a lot of agencies. They should’ve acted fast,” Reyes said.
Reyes is aware the video has been released and struggles with some of the details.
“For them not to do anything, it’s, I mean, it’s mind-blowing because they had a lot of time,” he said.
As Reyes continues to recover, he also thinks about his 11 students who he calls his children.
“Parents lost one and I lost 11,” he said as he read out the names of the students. “I just love them so much.”
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