A fourth-grade teacher who was wounded in the Texas school massacre is denouncing local cops for acting like “cowards” instead of confronting the unhinged gunman sooner.
Arnulfo Reyes, who was shot twice during the May 24 mass murder at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, condemned local cops for not acting faster as gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, slaughtered 19 children and two teachers — even as parents outside pleaded with them to act, ABC News reported.
“After everything, I get more angry because you have a bulletproof vest — I had nothing,” an emotional Reyes said of the officers. “I had nothing. You’re supposed to protect and serve. There is no excuse for their actions and I will never forgive them.”
Reyes’ students were watching a movie when Ramos began shooting inside the school, prompting the teacher to tell the youngsters to get under a table and act as if they were asleep.
Ramos, who was already firing in an adjoining classroom, then walked into Room 111 and continued his carnage, said Reyes, who was shot twice. The petrified teacher then pretended to be unconscious to survive the ensuing chaos.
Officials have said that after Ramos entered the school at about 11:30 a.m. and opened fire, officers gathered in force in a hallway just after noon — but they then waited for most of an hour to take him out.
Reyes, who is recovering from his wounds at a San Antonio hospital, said Ramos continued his deadly shooting spree for the following hour. All 11 students in Reyes’ classroom were dead by the time the barrage of bullets stopped, ABC News reported.
“I’m sorry, I tried my best,” Reyes tearfully told their parents. “Please don’t be angry with me.”
Ramos wasn’t killed by a responding Border Patrol unit until 12:50 p.m. — an unacceptable response time, according to the wounded teacher. But Reyes said the 11 students and two co-workers he lost “all at one time” would not die without subsequent policy changes.
“I will go anywhere, to the end of the world, to not let my students die in vain,” Reyes said.
Reyes’ students had been previously taught to sit beneath a table during an emergency such as an active shooter, but he insisted that policy was ill-conceived.
“But we set them up to be like ducks,” he said.
The wounded teacher doesn’t think he’ll be able to return to a classroom, but wants to become an advocate for change while calling for the legal age to buy guns to be raised to 21.
“The only thing that I know is that I won’t let these children and my co-workers die in vain,” Reyes told ABC News. “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.”
With Post wires