“I was thinking, you know, come on, come in, come in. Like he’s here. Just come in here, come save us,” he told CNN.
“And they weren’t. I only found out after the fact when I saw other videos of them standing in the hallways and it makes me even more upset knowing you’re just a few away from me and you’re not helping me. You’re not helping anyone.
“A lot of law enforcement has failed because they’ve taken an oath to protect,” he said.
“Everyone must have their fair share of responsibility, because they all stayed there.”
Shoot in silence
Reyes initially considered the sound of the May 24 attack to be just a person hitting something hard.
But as the gunshots got closer and the students started asking what they were, he grew concerned.
When the Sheetrock started flying off the wall from bullets fired from the high-powered rifle in the next classroom, he told all the students to get under their desks and pretend to sleep.
“And then I realized it was a gun, it was a gun,” he said in an interview. “I just felt like all the bad that was going to happen…was going to happen.”
Even before the shooter arrived in his room and walked through a door where Reyes had repeatedly reported a broken lock, the teacher didn’t think he would live that day. And everything around him was silent.
“When the gunshots continued, no crying, nothing. It was just complete silence,” he said. “And then I thought, well, he had hurt everyone on the other side. And then he came to our side and did this to us.”
Reyes remembers seeing two flashes coming from the gun as it was hit. Then he thinks the children were shot.
And then there was the wait.
The shooter stayed in the bedroom with Reyes. The teacher said his breathing was so shallow he might have looked dead, but it looked like the killer wanted to check.
“He did a lot of things to make me flinch or react in some way,” he said, remembering how blood was splattered on his face from the punching assailant. or splashing the ground near it.
He was shot again in the back, while lying on the ground, and he still had to play dead.
Finally, after 74 minutes, the door opened and the shooter was arrested and killed.
“After they shot him, Border Patrol said, ‘Anyone get up, let’s go, let’s go,’ try to get the kids out,” Reyes said, his voice shaking at this. memory.
“No one moved except me.”
His funny and ambitious students
A total of 19 children aged nine, 10 and 11 and two teachers were killed that day.
Hours earlier, Reyes had celebrated Awards Day with his students, then screened a movie in Classroom 111 for the children who stayed after the ceremony to relax with friends. Eleven students were with Reyes when the attack began. None survived.
Reyes, who was shot in the arm and back, has spent 31 days in hospital and has undergone 10 surgeries so far.
He said he initially felt guilty for surviving, but now embraces the love and concern of community members who told him there was a reason why. be here.
“That’s why I’m as strong as I can, because…I wouldn’t let them die in vain. I’ll try to do everything I can, so that they won’t be forgotten.” he said of the massacred. students.
He said he tries not to think too much about the students, although he would often remember one or another of the youngsters he calls “my children”.
And talking about them helps, he says.
“They were good kids, funny. A lot of them were ambitious,” he said.
“I had all kinds of kids in there, so, you know, from one extreme to the other, it was like, oh my God. But they all got along so well. They just had, they had a connection, they had a real connection,” he added.
Reyes, the proud teacher, wiped his eyes. “I love these kids.”
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