Arnulfo Reyes was injured in the course of protecting students from the shooter at Robb Elementary.
New details of the massacre at Robb Elementary School in the small town of Uvalde, located in southern Texas between San Antonio and Laredo, about 60 miles from the Mexican border, continue to be uncovered, a week after the shooting.
In addition to the scenes of horror and grief at the death of 19 children (between 8 and 11 years of age) and two teachers, heroes have emerged who prevented the killer from continuing his rampage of shooting defenseless children in this mostly Hispanic community.
The name of a Mexican-born teacher who taught at the elementary school has made headlines. Arnulfo Reyes, a native of the Mexican state of Coahuila who now lives in Texas, was shot several times as he protected his students by using his own body as a shield in the face of the killer.
Reyes was taken to the city of San Antonio to undergo surgery for wounds to his arm and left lung. A close relative of Reyes’ family, his cousin Erick J. Bernal, posted on a social media account the following message: “He suffered bullet wounds to his left lung and left arm while trying to protect his students from this demonic tragedy at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas!”
Later, Bernal wrote that his cousin had already come through surgery successfully and was out of danger. “Update on my cousin Arnulfo Reyes: he has a long road of physical and mental recovery ahead of himself. He’s still at San Antonio Medical Center and will be for some time. He has multiple surgeries scheduled over several days. He did everything he could to save those kids!!!”
Reyes has served as a teacher for the past 15 years, seven of which he has spent at Robb Elementary.
“I wish this was all a dream! I feel for those mommies! Continued prayers for the lost ones & as well for my Uncle Mr Reyes,” said Kebrina Nicole Gutierrez, niece of the Mexican teacher, in a Facebook post.
On May 24 at 11:45 a.m., everything changed for this small town of just 19,000 inhabitants.
Reyes also owns a nursery and gift shop in Uvalde, but the business will have to wait a while for its owner to return. And the town, with him, will overcome the tragedy.