Arnie Reyes was shot twice on May 24 and underwent 10 surgeries.
Reyes says he felt forgotten in an interview with CNN. He heard law enforcement coming and going outside the door of his classroom more than once.
But more than an hour went by before they moved in to stop to shooter.
“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.
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Reyes said he didn’t find out the police were just feet from the classroom door until he saw videos showing them standing in the hallways.
“A lot of law enforcement failed, cause they take that oath to protect,” he said.
‘Nobody moved but me’
Reyes said when he first heard the gunshots coming from inside the school, he thought it was just someone hitting something hard. But as the shots came closer and students started to worry, he became concerned.
Moments later, Reyes described seeing sheetrock flying from a wall where bullets were being fired in the next-door classroom. He said he told his students to get under their desk and pretend to be asleep.
“And then it dawned on me that it was a gun, it was a gun,” he said in an interview. “I just felt like all the badness that was gonna happen…was gonna happen.”
The gunman entered Reyes’ classroom. He said all he remembers seeing were two flashes come from the gun as he was hit. Then he thinks his students were shot.
A total of 19 10- and 11-year-old children were killed along with two teachers.
Reyes says he could hear law enforcement outside the door, trying to negotiate with the gunman.
“I was in there to protect the kids, but I had no bullet vest or bulletproof vest or any tactical gear that they use and they had everything,” Reyes said. “I mean, probably the only thing they had to worry about was getting shot in the head. But, I mean. I was an open target for everything, you know.”
He felt abandoned and forgotten as he, his students, and coworkers waited and waited for help.
“Some of the children and I think one of the other teachers would have made it if they would have gone in earlier,” he said.
He still has a long road to recovery. He says he felt guilty for surviving at first. but now he feels there’s a reason he’s still here.