OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
On Tuesday Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas was the setting of a horrific shooting by an obviously unbalanced 18-year-old, Salvador Ramos.
Ramos was said to have entered the grounds of the school where he opened fire and continued to do so as he proceeded through the building. At least 19 students and two teachers were confirmed to have been killed according to Fox News, and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) stated the shooter was also dead and he is believed to have been acting alone, Biz Pac Review reported.
Newsy reported that a neighbor said Ramos, who lived with his grandparents, was angry that he didn’t graduate and got into an argument with his grandmother. She was screaming “He shot me! He shot me!” the neighbor recounted to Newsy.
Police pursued him as he ran into the school wearing a tactical-style vest and carrying a rifle, Texas DPS spokesperson Lt. Chris Olivarez said.
“As soon as he made entry into the school he started shooting children, teachers, whoever was in his way, he was shooting everybody,” Olivarez said. Ramos was unemployed and had no criminal history, he said.
The shooting was the worst of its kind since 2012 when 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26, 20 of whom were aged between six and seven, at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
Since the shooting, investigation into the shooter, his life and social media accounts have revealed someone surrounded by red flags.
The suspect’s social media accounts support claims made by fellow classmates and coworkers that Ramos was a loner. CNN reported that he worked at a local Wendy’s and the evening manager Adrian Mendes said he “kept to himself mostly.”
He felt like the quiet type, the one who doesn’t say much. He didn’t really socialize with the other employees. He just worked, got paid, and came in to get his check,” Mendes added.
However, a former co-worker told something of a different story, according to The Daily Beast, recounting, “He would be very rude towards the girls sometimes, and one of the cooks, threatening them by asking, ‘Do you know who I am?’ And he would also send inappropriate texts to the ladies.”
She added Ramos had an “aggressive streak” and that, “At the park, there’d be videos of him trying to fight people with boxing gloves. He’d take them around with him.”
His social media accounts have been shut down to the public, but the Daily Mail reported that on his TikTok page his bio read “Kids be scared irl (in real life).” On his Instagram page, he allegedly posted images of his firearms.
A former friend said, “He would like, not go to school…and he just, like, slowly dropped out. He barely came to school.”
That friend who played first-person shooters with Ramos on Xbox explained that four days prior to the tragic shooting, the suspect had sent him photos of his weapons and when asked why he had them, Ramos allegedly replied, “Don’t worry about it.”
The guns were said to have been bought recently on his 18th birthday, according to the Beast, and he had reportedly brought them into his conversation on Instagram with a woman in Los Angeles, CA.
“You gonna repost my gun pics,” he asked her.
“What your guns gotta do with me,” she asked before stating she was confused. She also told Ramos his behavior was “scary” especially since they barely knew each other.
Ramos messaged the woman that he had “a lil secret” and that he’d be telling her about it later the morning before the shooting. His final message to her was “ima air out.”
Former high school classmate Nadia Reyes recalled to the Post that he had posted an Instagram story showing himself screaming at his mother—who has not commented publicly—and calling her a bitch as she tried to kick him out the house.
“He posted videos on his Instagram where the cops were there,” Reyes told the Post. “He’d be screaming and talking to his mom really aggressively.”
Former friend Santos Valdez Jr., told The Washington Post that the two had been close friends until Ramos’ behavior started to “deteriorate.”
He said Ramos, who was often bullied over a speech impediment that included a stutter and lisp, once cut up his own face with a knife “just for fun.”
Valdez said he first said he was scratched by a cat and then admitted he had done it himself.
“Then he told me the truth, that he’d cut up his face with knives over and over,” Valdez told the Post, adding that he had messaged over Instagram two hours before the massacre. Ramos didn’t open or read Valdez’s final message.
John Morales, who lives next door to Ramos’ paternal grandmother, told The Daily Beast that the teen used to play the first-person shooter game Call of Duty with Morales’ 15-year-old son.
Another friend told the paper that he used to egg people’s vehicles and shoot random strangers with a BB gun from a car, The Daily Beast Reported.
The ongoing investigation is revealing a very disturbed teen.