Arnulfo Reyes, the teacher, recalled hearing a loud bang at around 11:30 a.m., telling students to get under their desks as a precaution.
“The kids were yelling, ‘What’s going on, Mr. Reyes?'” he told ABC News. “[The students] were going under the table, and I was trying to get them to do that as fast as I could.”
“When I turned around,” Reyes said, “I just saw him,” referring to shooter Salvador Ramos.
He was shot multiple times and 11 of his students were killed. “I feel so bad for the parents because they lost a child,” Reyes said. “But they lost one child. I lost 11 that day, all at one time.”
Since the shooting, which left 19 students and two teachers dead, there have been questions about how quickly police acted when the shooter started his rampage. The head of the Texas Department of Public Safety said in late May that it was a mistake to delay the response, while he noted that the school police chief believed that it turned into a hostage situation when there was still an active shooter on the loose.
“They’re cowards,” Reyes told the outlet. “They sit there and did nothing for our community. They took a long time to go in … I will never forgive them.”
Reyes also said that there appeared to be systemic failures at play, noting that he did not receive any messages about a possible shooter on his phone.
“There was no announcement. I did not receive any messages on my phone … sometimes we do get a Raptor system,” he said in reference to the emergency alert program. “But I didn’t get anything, and I didn’t hear anything.”
Last week, the Department of Public Safety, which is investigating the mass shooting, determined that the commander facing criticism for the slow police response was not carrying a radio as the massacre unfolded, a Texas state senator said.
Sen. Roland Gutierrez told The Associated Press in a brief telephone interview that a Texas Department of Public Safety official told him school district police Chief Pete Arredondo was without a radio during the May 24 incident.
Authorities have not said how Arredondo was communicating with other law enforcement officials at the scene, including the more than a dozen officers who were at one point waiting outside the classroom where the shooter was holed up. Arredondo heads the district’s small department and was in charge of the multi-agency response to the shooting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.