Governor Greg Abbott stated on Wednesday that the Texas gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers posted an online message minutes before the attack saying that he was going to fire up an elementary school, as terrible new details of the massacre emerged.
The gunman, who was slain by police after his spree, had sent a message on Tuesday claiming he was planning to shoot his grandmother, followed by another internet post confirming it, Abbott said at a press conference.
The suspect’s grandmother was shot in the face before her grandson left their shared home and assaulted the school, but she survived and contacted the cops.
The gunman, Salvador Ramos, 18, offered no other indication that he was preparing to commit what is now considered a heinous crime.
He crashed his automobile at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) west of San Antonio, fleeing the shooting of his grandmother, then managed to elude a school police officer who approached him before dashing inside.
According to police, no gunfire was exchanged at that point. However, authorities provided few specifics about the incident, which is expected to become a focus of investigations, other than to state that when the suspect saw the officer, he dropped a backpack full of ammo and rushed toward the school.
Ramos then entered the school through the back entrance, armed with an AR-15-style rifle, and proceeded to a fourth-grade classroom, where he shot all of the victims. He had legally acquired two firearms, according to authorities.
Meanwhile, police surrounded the facility and broke windows to aid the children and staff make their escape. Agents from the United States Border Patrol also arrived and entered the facility to engage the shooter, with one agent being injured “in the crossfire,” according to Homeland Security officials.
Ramos, a high school dropout with no criminal record or mental health background, was eventually shot and killed by police.
17 people were injured, according to Abbott, although none of them were seriously hurt. According to Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Chris Olivarez, the wounded included “several children” who survived shooting in their school.
The governor claimed the shooter made his online posts on Facebook, while spokesmen for Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms (FB.O), claimed these were private one-to-one messages uncovered after the shooting. The firm would not reveal who was given the award.
Family members of the victims rushed to social media to express their grief over the loss of children who never returned home from school.
“We told her we loved her and that we’d pick her up after school,” Kimberly Mata-Rubio said on Facebook in honor of her fourth-grade honor student, Alexandria Aniyah Rubio. “We were completely unaware that this was going to be our last farewell.” …
DEBATE OVER GUNS
The motivation for the shooting has not been revealed, and little information about the suspect’s past has surfaced.
Adriana Reyes, the suspect’s mother, said her son “kept to himself and didn’t have many friends” in an interview with the British news site DailyMail.com.
According to Abbott, strict gun prohibitions do not prevent violence, citing New York as an example. Instead, he believes policymakers should concentrate on mental health treatment and prevention.
According to a senior administration official, US President Joe Biden is planning a trip to Texas soon after pushing for tougher gun safety rules in a nationally televised address on Tuesday evening.
In Washington, new legislation appeared unlikely to pass. Almost every Republican in Congress opposes stricter gun laws, and there was little indication that the recent atrocity would change that.
The National Rifle Association’s annual conference begins on Friday in Houston, with Abbott, Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and former President Donald Trump among the Republicans set to speak.
The NRA offered its condolences to the victims in a statement, but stated that the event would go on as scheduled.
Leaders from around the world were shocked and saddened by the news. On Wednesday, Pope Francis expressed his “heartbreak” and demanded an end to “indiscriminate arms trafficking.” …
According to the K-12 School Shooting Database at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security, a gun was shot virtually every day this year on school property, according to data. …
Since a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012, the Texas shooting has been the deadliest school shooting in the United States.
According to U.S. Census data, Uvalde, located in the state’s Hill Country region, has about 16,000 residents, virtually all of whom are Hispanic or Latino.
By early evening, the elementary school was still sealed off with crime-scene tape, with passers-by dropping down flowers and stuffed animals with a police officer who transported them over to a makeshift memorial forming beside the building.