'Cowards': Uvalde teacher wounded in mass shooting torches local police for failing to protect and serve
Uvalde law enforcement officers (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA for AFP)

A teacher who was wounded during the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas is speaking out with critical remarks about the Uvalde Police department.

On Tuesday, June 7, Arnulfo Reyes appeared on "Good Morning America" where he voiced his frustrations about the disturbing series of events that transpired at Robb Elementary on May 24. As he grieved the loss of his fellow faculty members and the students who were killed, he also criticized the police officers on the scene that day; officers he described as "cowards."

Speaking from a hospital room, Reyes said, “You have a bulletproof vest, I had nothing. You’re supposed to protect and serve. There is no excuse for their actions and I will never forgive them. I will never forgive them."

Recalling the day of the shooting, Reyes said that is students were "watching a movie following a student awards ceremony around 11:30 a.m. on May 24 when they heard gunshots. He directed the kids to get under a table, just as they were trained, and told them to 'act like you’re asleep.'”

When Reyes turned around, he remembered seeing the shooter in his classroom. That's when he was shot several times. It took nearly 80 minutes for law enforcement to rescue Reyes and his students.

“I told myself, I told my kids to act like they’re asleep, so I’m going to act like I’m asleep also,” he said of the agonizing incident. “And I prayed and prayed that I would not hear none of my students talk.”

According to The Texas Department of Public Safety, several officers reportedly attempted to enter the school building shortly after the shooter did but quickly retreated due to gunfire. Reyes mentioned that he'd heard the students next door desperately crying for officers to help but they'd already retreated. The Uvalde police chief has admitted that it was “the wrong decision” to do so.

Reyes emotionally expressed remorse for not being able to do more for his students. “We set them up to be like ducks,” he said.

In a message addressed to the parents of his students, he also said, “I’m sorry. I tried my best. Please don’t be angry with me.”

Reyes is also advocating for changes in gun laws and raising the age limit for firearm purchases. He said, “I will go to the end of the world to make sure that things get changed."