Robb Elementary School teacher Arnie Reyes could hear the police officers outside his door. For an hour, as he lay dying, he listened to them do nothing.
“I was thinking, you know, come on, come in, come in. Like he’s in here. Just come in here, come save us,” he told CNN in a new interview out Wednesday night.
“And they weren’t. I didn’t find that out until after the fact when I saw other videos where they’re standing in the hallways and that even makes me more upset, just knowing you’re a few feet away from me and you’re not helping me. You’re not helping anybody.”
Reyes, who worked in a connected classroom to Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia, who were both killed, told his students to play dead as suspect Salvador Ramos, 18, rampaged through the rooms.
The gunman shot him twice: once in the arm and once in the back.
Seventy-four minutes after the shooting began, police finally came in and killed Ramos.
“They forgot us. They saved everybody else except us,” he said. “I mean, they probably thought that we were all dead or something, but if they would have gone in before, some of ‘em probably would have made it.”
All 11 students in his classroom died, along with eight students next door and the two teachers.
“That’s why I’m being as strong as I can, because … I would not let them die in vain,” he told CNN. “I would try to do anything that I can, so we don’t forget them.”
The police response to the Uvalde shooting has been widely criticized after responding officers failed to even try to stop the massacre, including never bothering to try opening the door to the classrooms.
Researchers from the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (ALERRT) at Texas State University reported Tuesday that a Uvalde police officer armed with a rifle had eyes on Ramos before he even entered Robb Elementary, but the officer’s supervisor never gave him the go-ahead to shoot.
Calls to 911 from inside the classrooms were also ignored.
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