Teacher who lost his students in Ulvalde school shooting speaks out

Teacher who lost his students in Ulvalde school shooting speaks out
Matthew McConaughey calls for 'gun responsibility' after Uvalde school shooting

A teacher who survived the Robb Elementary School Shooting that happened last month has shared his story.

Arnulfo Reyes was teacher to 11 of the 19 children murdered by Salvador Ramos when he shot into classrooms with a semi-automatic rifle. None of Reyes' students survived the attack.

In an interview with ABC News, Reyes told his account of the third most deadly school shooting in U.S. history.

Upon hearing gunshots, the children asked Reyes what was happening.

"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'."

It was when Reyes was gathering the children under the table that Ramos entered the classroom. Almost as soon as Reyes turned and saw the 18-year-old gunman, he was shot. One bullet entered his arm and lung, the other his back. Unable to move, Reyes couldn't do anything to help his students as Ramos opened fire on them.

Uvalde teacher who survived school shooting shares his story l WNTABC News / YouTube

Uvalde police force has been heavily criticised for their failure to act faster, with many arguing that they could have saved more lives if they had taken action sooner.

Reyes said that he heard a child in the next classroom pleading with officers to help them, but that he thinks the officers had retreated down the hallway.

"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. And then, he got up from behind my desk, and he walked over there and he shot over there again."

The next time he heard the officers, Reyes said, was when they were telling Ramos through the classroom door to come out and talk to them. A minute later there was silence. Eventually, Border Patrol officers breached the building, and shot Ramos dead. Reyes believes that he played dead for 77 minutes.

"When things go bad, it seems like eternity. The only thing that I can say is I felt like my blood was like an hourglass."

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Videos from outside the school show parents begging officers to go in and help their children, with some even trying to get into the building themselves. They were held on the ground, pushed, and threatened with tasers while their children were being shot and killed inside the building.

The attack lasted about 1.5 hours, despite a patrol officer apparently arriving less than five minutes after a teacher called 911.

The massacre has sparked further debate on U.S. gun laws, with public figures and celebrities pushing for more legislation to help prevent mass shootings.

Uvalde-born actor Matthew McConaughey has revealed that his mother taught kindergarten close by to Robb Elementary School, and has made a passionate plea for tighter gun control.

"We want secure and safe schools, and we want gun laws that won't make it so easy for the bad guys to get these damn guns."

In his speech at the White House press briefing, McConaughey struggled to contain his emotion, especially when he shared stories of some of the victims, one of which prompted him to slam his fist on the speaker's podium.

Speaking about 10-year old Maite Rodriguez, he said that she "wore green, high-top converse, with a heart she had hand-drawn on the right toe, because they represented her love of nature. These are the same green converse on her feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could could identify her after the shooting."

Matthew McConaughey delivered a powerful and emotional plea for more gun regulations at the White House press briefing.The Guardian

According to NPR, just this year, there have so far been a minimum of 246 mass shootings in the U.S.

"The only thing that I know is that I won't let these children and my co-workers die in vain", says Reyes.

"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."

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