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‘Act like you’re sleeping’: Injured Uvalde teacher recounts chilling moment he first saw shooter

An elementary school teacher injured in the second deadliest school shooting in US history in Uvalde, Texas, has described the chilling moments he first encountered a gunman who allegedly cost the life to 19 students and two teachers.

Arnulfo Reyes was watching a movie with 11 of his students when he heard the deadly gunshots ring out, he told ABC News anchor Amy Robach for an interview that aired Tuesday on ‘Good Morning America,’ so he was recovering from two gunshot wounds at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

The 17-year-old veteran teacher described several harrowing encounters with the gunman, providing the most vivid account yet of what happened in his classroom on May 24, when 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos attacked the Robb Elementary School.

Hearts decorate a banner in front of the Robb Elementary School building, where a memorial has been created to honor the victims killed in the recent school shooting, June 3, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. Two teachers and 19 students were killed.

Eric Gay/AP

Reyes and his students were in Room 111, one of the adjoining classrooms where Ramos allegedly carried out the attack, he said. When the kids started asking, “What’s going on?” Reyes said he tried to stay calm and instructed his students to stay safe.

“I don’t know what’s going on, but let’s go and get under the table,” Reyes told the students. “Get under the table and pretend you’re sleeping.”

After Reyes told the kids to get under the table, he turned around and saw the shooter standing there.

Ramos then almost immediately opened fire on the classroom, Reyes said.

‘Act like you’re sleeping’: Injured Uvalde teacher recounts chilling moment he first saw shooter

Arnulfo Reyes, a fourth-grade teacher at Uvalde, hospitalized with gunshot wounds, speaks with ABC’s Amy Robach, June 6, 2022.

ABC News

Reyes said he was shot twice. A bullet went through an arm and a lung, and another bullet hit him in the back.

As Reyes was incapacitated, Ramos turned his AR-15-style rifle, purchased days after his 18th birthday, on young children – mostly third and fourth graders.

Reyes then heard police officers outside the classroom as a child in the next room called for help, he said, adding that he believed the officers had walked away at that time, not having heard the calls.

“One of the students in the next classroom was saying, ‘Officer, we’re here. We’re here,'” Reyes said. “But they were already gone.”

‘Act like you’re sleeping’: Injured Uvalde teacher recounts chilling moment he first saw shooter

A man pays his respects at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School to honor the victims killed in last week’s school shooting, June 2, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.

Eric Gay/AP

The shooter then got up from behind Reyes’ desk in room 111 and started shooting again in room 112, Reyes said.

The next time Reyes heard from officers, they were telling Ramos to get out – that they just wanted to talk and weren’t going to hurt him, Reyes said.

Then silence. Before officers finally broke through the door and fatally shot him, Reyes said.

A surviving student, Samuel Salinas, 10, told ABC News after the shooting that the shooter walked into his classroom and said, “You’re all going to die,” and he just started shooting.

“He shot the teacher, then the kids,” Salinas said, adding that he played dead to avoid being shot.

The funeral of the victims continues until June 25.

ABC News

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