A teacher from Uvalde who survived the shooting speaks

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(CNN) – A fourth-grade teacher at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, said no amount of training could have prepared him for what happened on May 24, when a gunman opened the door. the fire and killed 19 students and two teachers.

In an interview with ABC News, Arnulfo Reyes says he told his students to pretend to be asleep shortly after coming face to face with the shooter and being shot twice.

“I told my kids to act like they’re sleeping, so I’m going to act like I’m sleeping too,” he said. “And I prayed and prayed that I wouldn’t hear any of my students speak.”

Reyes said he believed he was going to die that day.

“One of the students in the next class was saying, ‘Officer, we’re here! We are here !’ and then – but they were already gone,” he said. “And then he (the shooter) got up from behind my desk and he went over there and he shot him again.”

Reyes says one bullet went through his arm and lungs and another hit his back, and he couldn’t move.

Then the shooter aimed his gun at the students. Reyes played dead for 77 minutes until the Border Patrol team shot the suspect.

The teacher apologized to the parents of the 11 children in his class.

“I’m sorry. I did my best from what I was told to do; please don’t be mad at me,” he said.

Reyes says he is angry with the police and felt abandoned that day.

Officials’ timeline shows officers responded within minutes of the suspect entering the classroom.

But officers remained in a hallway waiting for backup when he started shooting, even as the children called 911 and asked for help.

A tribute to those killed in Uvalde, Texas, the school shooting takes the form of a song sung by Danny Salazar. (Source: CNN)

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