New details are emerging in the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 21 people dead, including 19 elementary students.
Salvador Ramos, 18, on Tuesday committed the deadliest US school massacre since the Sandy Hook shooting nearly a decade ago, going on a rampage at Robb Elementary before being shot dead by police.
Officials say that the two AR-15-style rifles recovered from the shooting scene were purchased by Ramos earlier this month, just days after his 18th birthday.
Ramos purchased one of the rifles on May 17, and the following day he bought 375 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition. Ramos purchased other rifle on May 20, and posted pictures of the guns on Instagram.
Tuesday’s violence began when Ramos shot and critically wounded his grandmother at her home in Uvalde, where he had reportedly been living for several months after domestic problems in his mother’s home across town.
Salvador Ramos legally purchased two AR-15 style rifles (right) including the one he used in yesterday’s attack after his 18th birthday last week. The gunman also bought more than 300 rounds of ammunition
Tuesday’s violence began when Ramos shot and critically wounded his grandmother at her home (above) in Uvalde. The grandmother survived and Ramos then drove the short distance to Robb Elementary and opened fire
The grandmother was airlifted to a hospital and was still clinging to life on Wednesday.
After shooting his grandmother, Ramos drove in a black Ford F-150 pickup truck the short distance to Robb Elementary, just half a mile away.
Veering wildly off the road, Ramos crashed the truck into a culvert behind the elementary school, according to officials and photos from the scene.
At 11.32am, the first 911 call came in reporting the vehicle crash, and saying a man with a gun was exiting the truck.
Ramos, wearing body armor, apparently left one of the rifles in the truck, and carried the other with him towards the school, along with a backpack full of ammunition.
Investigators say that Ramos dropped the backpack near an entrance to the school, and that it contained seven 30-round magazines. It’s unclear whether the magazines held live ammunition.
Police told news station KENS 5 that Ramos exchanged gunfire with police as he stormed into the school, but ultimately cops were unable to prevent him from gaining entry.
Texas DPS Director said a school resource officer ‘confronted’, but did not ‘engage’ the gunman as he entered the school.
Veering wildly off the road, Ramos crashed a Ford F-150 pickup truck into a culvert behind the elementary school
Ramos crashed his truck into a ditch before entering the school. Cops found one of his AR-15 guns inside the vehicle, and he had also dumped a bag (circled) nearby. At the entrance of the school, they found his backpack which contained ammunition
One video at the scene appears to show Ramos approach the school while what sounds like gunfire is going off in the background. Police exchanged gunfire with Ramos but were unable to stop him from storming the school
‘The suspect made entry into the school and as soon as he made entry into the school he started shooting children, teachers, whoever’s in his way,’ Department of Public Safety Lt. Christopher Olivarez told the station.
‘He was shooting everybody,’ the state official said.
Olivarez told CNN that the shooter barricade himself inside of a single classroom, and that it is inside that classroom where most or all of the 19 children and two teachers were killed.
The children killed were believed to be third and fourth grade students. Robb Elementary serves grades two through four, officials said.
Police and state troopers arrived in time to hear gunshots inside a classroom where the man barricaded himself and began shooting children and teachers.
Olivarez said some of the officers were shot by the gunman, so others began breaking windows around the school trying to evacuate children and teachers.
Meanwhile, a nearby Customs and Border Protection tactical unit responded to provide backup.
In this aerial view, law enforcement works on scene at Robb Elementary School where at least 21 people were killed yesterday
The agent who ended Tuesday’s school massacre by shooting and killing the Robb Elementary school gunman is reported to be part of an ‘elite’ CBP tactical unit. Law enforcement personnel are pictured at the scene of the shooting
Olivarez said ‘tactical law enforcement’ forced their way into the classroom, where ‘they were met with gunfire as well but they were able to shoot and kill that suspect.’
The unnamed agent who shot and killed Ramos is believed to be from the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), which has specialized agents dispersed throughout the United States.
The BORTAC agent, whose identity has not yet been revealed, rushed into the school without waiting for backup.
Ramos was behind a barricade, returning fire, but the border patrol agent managed to shoot and kill the gunman before he could claim more victims.
‘They came in from opposite sides. The BORTAC agent ended up exchanging gunfire with the shooter, killed the shooter, and I am told that the agent was injured in his leg,’ reported Fox News.
‘They are trying to figure out if he was shot in the leg or hit by shrapnel.’
More than a dozen children were also hurt in the attack, including a ten-year-old girl taken to hospital in the nearby city of San Antonio in critical condition. A 66-year-old woman – believed to be Ramos’s grandmother who he shot at the start of his killing spree – was in the same hospital, also in critical.
A second hospital within Uvalde itself said 13 children had been brought to them, without saying what condition they are in. Police warned late Tuesday that the death toll is expected to rise.
Law enforcement work the scene after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. The gunman, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement
The unnamed agent who shot and killed Ramos is believed to be from the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), which has specialized agents dispersed throughout the United States
Police work the scene after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where 19 children and two adults were killed
BORTAC is headquartered in El Paso, Texas, explaining the presence of the agent from the unusual tactical unit.
The unit is unique in that it conducts training and operations both in the United States and in other countries ‘in furtherance of the US Border Patrol’s mission’, according to CBP.
Dozens more children may have been killed if the BORTAC agent had not intervened, with the killer claiming the lives of 19 children and two teachers before he was stopped.
The agent was wounded but able to walk out of the school, law enforcement official said.
Meanwhile, teams of Border Patrol agents raced to the school, according to Jason Owens, a top regional official with the Border Patrol.
A number of the shooting victims are children of Customs and Border Protection agents, according to ABC News.
‘It hit home for everybody,’ he said.
A picture of the gunman has also started to emerge as a bullied loner, picked on at school because of a lisp, a habit of wearing eyeliner, his clothes and because he came from a poor family.
Salvador Ramos, 18, shot his grandmother before going to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and killing 21
Those who knew Ramos or his relatives say he was a ‘nice’ but ‘quiet’ boy who grew increasingly violent as he became older, amid relentless bullying both in school and online.
Santos Valdez told the Washington Post that he used to be friends with Ramos and played online shooter games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty with him, until the pair stopped talking as Ramos’s behaviour ‘deteriorated.’
Valdez said Ramos had showed up to the park one time with cuts all over his face, initially claiming he was scratched by a cat before admitting that he did it to himself with a knife.
Stephen Garcia, who considered himself Ramos’s best friend in eighth grade, said he was ‘bullied by a lot of people’ including for over a photo of himself wearing eyeliner which led to ‘gay’ taunts. Garcia said Ramos dropped out of school when he moved away to another part of the state, and the two had lost touch.
Others confirmed that Ramos had stopped attending classes, and did not intend to take part in graduation this summer. Instead, he got a job at a local Wendy’s restaurant.
A colleague there described Ramos has having an aggressive streak. She told the Daily Beast he walked around with a pair of boxing gloves at the park, asking people to fight him and filming it. He also menaced co-workers, asking one of the cooks: ‘Do you know who I am?’
‘He would be very rude towards the girls sometimes… and he would also send inappropriate texts to the ladies,’ the former colleague said, asking for her name not to be used.
As an 18th birthday present to himself earlier this month, Ramos bought two AR-style rifles and paraded them on social media, including in ominous messages sent hours before the killing started.
A teenage acquaintance of Ramos, who lives in Los Angeles and claims to barely know him, posted screenshots of messages he sent her early Tuesday after tagging her in a picture of his rifles. In them, he said he wanted to share a ‘lil secret’ and urged her to respond to him. The conversation ended before Ramos revealed his secret.
Victims of Uvalde school shooting
The shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas left 19 students and two teachers dead. Here are the victims that have been identified so far:
Fourth grader Alithia Ramirez (at left) was confirmed dead early Wednesday by her father, Ryan Ramirez, who shared a post to Facebook showing the 10-year-old with angel’s wings. He had used the same photo the previous day as he pleaded for help finding her after the massacre. Jaliah Nicole Silguero (at right) was also confirmed as one of the victims early Wednesday, with her mother Veronica Luevanos also sharing a memorial post saying saying she was ‘heartbroken’ over the loss
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos (at left), who appears to be Jaliah’s cousin based on posts shared by the family, was confirmed as one of the dead Wednesday by his aunt. ‘Still can’t believe that we’re never gonna see you again,’ she wrote on Facebook. Amerie Jo Garza (pictured at right with her father, Angel Garza) was confirmed dead by her dad Wednesday. The grieving parent captioned the post: ‘My little love is now flying high with the angels above’
Uziyah Garcia, nine, (left) and Makenna Elrod, 10, (right) were both confirmed dead by loved ones on Facebook
Xavier Lopez, 10, (left) and Eliahana Torres, 10, (right) was also killed at the school shooting on Tuesday
Ellie Lugo (left) and Nevaeh Bravo (right) were also killed. Ellie was reported as missing for several hours before her parents confirmed her death
Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10, and Rogelio Torres, right, were also killed
Irma Garcia (left) and Eva Mireles (right), who co-taught fourth grade, were both shot and killed at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday