How the family and officials of the killer of Uvalde missed the red flags before the massacre | Texas school shooting

Before gunning down 21 people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the killer threatened to kill himself, threatened women, stockpiled weapons and paraphernalia and made a video of himself rolling while holding a dead cat, according to a preliminary report by a committee of Texas state lawmakers investigating the massacre.

The story of 18-year-old shooter Salvador Ramos – as described in the report released on Sunday – is one of the red flags that guards and officials of all kinds largely missed until he got to his former fourth grade class and murders 19 students along with two teachers on May 24 in one of the deadliest shootings on record in America.

The 77-page document – ​​first obtained by the Texas Tribune – draws on interviews with his family members, information from his phone and testimony provided to lawmakers to offer the most comprehensive account yet. on Ramos.

His name is excluded from the report to deny him posthumous notoriety for his actions, which ended in him being fatally shot by police officers 77 minutes after they stormed Robb’s campus in the town of 16,000 mostly Hispanic residents near of the US-Mexico border.

Born in Fargo, North Dakota, Ramos moved to Uvalde at an early age to live with his sister and mother, who had a history of drug addiction. One of his mother’s boyfriends may have sexually abused Ramos as a child, although the mother apparently did not believe the possibility, a former girlfriend has told the FBI.

Ultimately, after showing promise in kindergarten, he began to struggle with his academics, the report continues. He drew bullying because of a stutter, short haircut and often wearing the same clothes over and over again, with a classmate tying his shoelaces together and making him plant his face , the report said, citing a cousin’s account.

As of 2018, he was failing, missing school more than 100 times a year, being labeled “at risk” and being recommended for speech therapy. He hadn’t progressed beyond his freshman year of high school in 2021, when he was 17 – the typical age for a junior. But the authors of Sunday’s report were unable to establish whether local school district officials had ever visited his home.

Ramos had dropped out in October last year as students began to resume in-person instruction amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. He spent most of his time online searching for gory and sexually violent material, occasionally sharing videos and images depicting beheadings and suicides, the report’s authors noted.

Other members of an online chat group dubbed him a “school shooter”, according to the report.

He also wrote private musings about his difficulty connecting with or feeling empathy for other people, saying he was ‘not human’ and searching online for clues about himself. he was a sociopath. The searches led to an email being sent about psychological treatment, the report’s authors said.

Ramos’ girlfriend reportedly told the FBI he would talk about killing himself or otherwise dying at the age of 18. The girlfriend broke up with him last year and he responded by harassing her and her friends. He also lost two jobs at fast-food restaurants, with at least one layoff resulting from threats he made against a co-worker, according to the report.

While living at home to save money amid his unemployment, he ordered slings that carry guns, an accessory that is colloquially known as a red dot scope, and a ballistic vest. He couldn’t legally buy guns yet, and he asked two people to do it for him, although they refused.

Ramos became interested in school shootings and at one point late last year filmed himself being driven around while holding a dead cat inside a clear plastic bag.

He threw the animal’s carcass into the street and spat on it “while his driver laughed” in the disturbing video, according to the committee’s report.

Footage then showed him pointing BB guns at bystanders and pulling the trigger, despite not being loaded, according to the report. Final footage shows emergency responders at the scene of an accident which Ramos said was caused by the driver.

No one reported the behavior to law enforcement, according to the report. It was unclear if any users of the social media he was on had reported him to the respective platforms.

He finally moved in with his grandmother after an intense argument with his mother which was broadcast live online. The report says he told a cousin who lived with him at Grandma’s that he no longer wanted to live, although the cousin hoped a heartfelt conversation with him had changed his mind.

This was not the case. In April, he messaged someone on social media and asked if that person would remember him in about 50 days. When the person said ‘probably not’, Ramos reportedly replied ‘we’ll see in May’.

The report’s authors made it clear that they suspected Ramos could rise to fame if he carried out a school shooting.

The report says Ramos told a friend who offered to visit in July or August that it would be “too late” by then. He also bookmarked online reports and other information about the killing of 10 black people by a white supremacist in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York on May 20.

Meanwhile, Ramos purchased 60 ammunition magazines capable of carrying 30 rounds each, along with other gun accessories.

Then, at the age of 18, just eight days before the murders at Robb Elementary, he bought two AR-15 style rifles and thousands of cartridges. He had no arrest history that would prohibit him from legally purchasing the guns.

In total, according to the report, he spent about $6,000 before the attack on the school. The owner of the store where he bought the guns asked Ramos how he could afford the guns, which cost $3,000. Ramos’ response was that he saved, according to the report.

On the evening of May 23, Ramos started messaging people about something he would be doing the next day. Nearly 2,000 rounds arrived for him the next morning.

He shot and injured his grandmother, Celia Gonzales, before driving to Robb Elementary School, where investigators found staff had left the doors unlocked. Nearly 400 law enforcement officers from numerous local, state and federal agencies gathered at the school after Ramos killed students and teachers there while injuring 17 others.

But, according to the report, an unclear command structure and confusing communications meant they waited more than an hour before confronting and ultimately killing Ramos in what appeared to be the authorities’ first substantial interaction with him.

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