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Uvalde teacher calls local police ‘cowards’ for delay in response

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden talk with school officials next to the Robb Elementary School sign
Associated Press/Evan Vucci
President Biden and first lady Jill Biden talk with principal Mandy Gutierrez and superintendent Hal Harrell on May 29 as they visit Robb Elementary School to pay their respects to the victims of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

A teacher at the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school that last month became the scene of a horrific mass shooting called local police “cowards” as law enforcement comes under increasing scrutiny over the amount of time that lapsed before officers confronted the shooter.

“They’re cowards,” Arnulfo Reyes, a teacher at Robb Elementary School, told ABC News anchor Amy Robach in an interview that aired Tuesday on “Good Morning America.”

“They sit there and did nothing for our community,” Reyes said. “They took a long time to go in … I will never forgive them.”

More than an hour passed between the time the shooter entered the elementary school on May 24 and when he was confronted by authorities. Officials said the gunman, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, killed 19 children and two adults in that timespan before he was killed by law enforcement officers. 

All 11 children who were in Reyes’s classroom at the time of the shooting were killed. Reyes was also shot multiple times.

“Absolutely,” Reyes responded, when asked if felt abandoned by police. “After everything, I get more angry because you have a bulletproof vest. I had nothing. 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.”

ABC news noted the Uvalde Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.

In an op-ed penned in The New York Times last month, a retired FBI agent who established the agency’s active scooter program argued that law enforcement did not follow training during the attack.

“The F.B.I. designated 61 shootings in 2021 as active shooter attacks, up from 40 in 2020 and 30 in 2019. We aren’t preventing the shootings, I realized. Perhaps, I thought, we were doing better in responding to the attacks as they unfolded,” Katherine Schweit wrote. “But if the 78 minutes that the police in Uvalde waited before confronting the gunman at Robb Elementary are any indication, the answer is: We aren’t.”

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