Teacher Who Lost Entire Class Of Students In Uvalde Shooting Speaks Out In Emotional Interview
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Featured Image Credit: ABC
A teacher who lost his entire class to a school shooter and was shot twice himself has spoken out about his terrible experience.
On 24 May, a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers, making it the second most deadly elementary school shooting in US history behind Sandy Hook.
11 of the 19 children killed in the massacre were in the classroom of fourth grade teacher Arnulfo Reyes, who was himself hospitalised with multiple gunshot wounds after the shooter opened fire on him and his students.
Reyes has since given an emotional interview to ABC News from his hospital bed, where he spoke out about the horrifying experience of the school shooting. Take a look below:
He explained to ABC News anchor Amy Robach that he was watching a movie with his students: "It was going to be a good day. There was nothing unusual that day, we were just walking back to the classroom … to watch the rest of the movie."
But at around 11:30am, they heard the sound of gunshots.
"The kids were yelling, 'What's going on, Mr. Reyes?'" he said. "[The students] were going under the table, and I was trying to get them to do that as fast as I could."
Reyes said he told the children in his class to 'act like you're asleep' before turning around and seeing the gunman - 18-year-old Salvador Ramos - who then opened fire on the teacher before turning his gun on the rest of the class.
Ramos shot Reyes twice, piercing his back and one of his lungs. He has since undergone five surgeries and has twice had his blood replaced.
"I had no concept of time," Reyes said of the horrific incident. "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."
The teacher promised he would dedicate the rest of his life to changing the US gun laws in the hopes that it would prevent another tragedy from occurring.
He said: "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.
'The only thing that I know is that I won't let these children and my co-workers die in vain."
"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."
He said he was not against gun ownership, but wanted an overhaul of the system so it was harder to get access to firearms with a higher age limit for those who wanted to buy a gun.
Reyes also slammed the police as 'cowards' for failing to act faster, as he was forced to play dead for 77 minutes despite police officers arriving on the scene within minutes of the first shots being fired.
According to CNN, officers waited for reinforcements while children called 911 and begged for the police to come in and help them, while it wasn't until 12:50pm that a tactical unit breached the classrooms the shooter was in.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677