Arnie Reyes: Where is Uvalde Survivor Now?

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The whole US was left petrified when 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a former student of the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, entered the premises with a high-powered rifle before massacring students and teachers alike. Teacher Arnie Reyes was trying to hide his students when the shooter walked into his classroom and shot him at point-blank range. Although he stayed locked in with Salvador for over an hour, he somehow escaped with his life. ’20/20: It Happened Here’ chronicles the horrific ordeal and takes the viewer through the experience of those trapped inside. Let’s delve into the details surrounding the incident and find out where Arnie is today, shall we?

Who is Arnie Reyes?

A Uvalde, Texas resident, Arnie lived independently and worked as a teacher at Robb Elementary School. People who know him describe him as a caring and kindhearted individual who always puts the needs of his students above everything else and is popular for his helpful nature. On top of it, apart from being an adored teacher, Arnie maintained an amicable relationship with most around him and has always been well respected in his community. Readers will also be glad to know that he shares an incredible bond with his family, and they were the ones who helped him recover after the terrifying ordeal.

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On May 24, 2022, Arnie was teaching his class when he heard a commotion outside. Although the teacher didn’t think much of it initially, he soon heard the sound of a high-powered rifle in the adjoining classroom and immediately instructed his students to hide under the tables. However, quite surprisingly, the noises died down after a while, and Arnie hoped the shooter was apprehended. Yet, he soon realized his mistake when the intruder broke the door open and shot him twice at close range.

The bullets hit Arnie’s left arm, and as he collapsed on the floor in pain, the gunman turned the weapon towards his class and slaughtered the children present there. Salvador then sat down at the teacher’s desk to reload his gun but soon realized Arnie was alive. The intruder tried to make the teacher flinch for the next hour or so as he lay motionless on the ground. At one point, Salvador even placed Arnie’s phone on his body and shot him in the back before returning to the desk.

In the meantime, Arnie could hear several police voices in the hallways, yet no one came to rescue him. Reports mention that law enforcement officials stood outside the building and in the hallways for 77 minutes as the gunman spread terror inside. Eventually, officers barged into the classroom to save Arnie, but it was too late to save the students, as all of them had passed away by then. Later, sources revealed that nineteen students and two teachers were massacred before the police controlled the situation.

Arnie Reyes is Leading a Private Life Today

While Arnie underwent numerous medical procedures and operations in the following months, his body still bears permanent scars from the horrific ordeal. Besides, he mentioned that the incident haunts him to date as he feels responsible for not keeping his students safe from the gunman. Nevertheless, the parents of the slain students do not hold Arnie responsible, and instead, he is viewed as a hero who tried his best to keep the intruder away. On the other hand, he has also been perplexed at how it took a tragedy to bring changes to school security.

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In fact, the teacher claimed he had been complaining about a broken lock on his classroom door for years, and the gunman would not have been able to walk into the room if it had been repaired in time. In the aftermath of the event, Arnie and several others filed a civil claim against the shooter, his family, and the company that manufactured the security and communications equipment used in the rescue. Even though the survivor claimed he knew the lawsuit would not change anything, he wished that school authorities would invest in proper security protocols before another tragedy occurred.

Furthermore, Arnie even stated that the school district effectively abandoned him during his recovery and said, “I thought they would have been more caring, more compassionate.“I feel like I never even worked for them, like I’m nobody. I’m nobody to them.” Nevertheless, Arnie Reyes remains determined to fight till the end, as he believes that someone has to be the voice for the teachers and students who lost their lives in the shooting. While unsure if he will ever return to a classroom, he now lives alone with his beloved Chihuahua in Uvalde, Texas, and only allows his family members to visit occasionally.

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