Shooting in Texas: they reveal that the attacker locked himself in a room and shot 5:15
(WABNEWS) — We may never know why a gunman fatally shot 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
But as the nation mourns the 21 lives lost, more details are emerging about the investigation, the shooter, as well as troubling clues that led to the Texas elementary school massacre.RELATED
This is what we know:
The attacker shot his grandmother and texted a girl about his plans
Authorities identified the lone attacker as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.
Minutes before the mass shooting, Ramos allegedly sent a series of text messages to a teenage girl in Europe whom he had met online, describing how he had just shot his grandmother and would “shoot up an elementary school.”
According to screenshots reviewed by WABNEWS and an interview with the teen, whose mother gave permission for her to be interviewed, Ramos complained that her grandmother was “on the phone with AT&T about my phone.”
“It’s annoying,” he texted.
School shooting survivor relives her experience 4:24
Six minutes later, he texted: “I just shot my grandma in the head.”
Seconds later, he said, “I’m going to shoot up an elementary school (right now).”
The 15-year-old girl, who lives in Frankfurt, Germany, said she started chatting with Ramos on a social media app on May 9.
He said Ramos told him Monday that he received a package of ammunition. She said he told her the bullets would expand when they hit someone.
At some point, the girl asked him what he planned to do. She said that he said it was a surprise and for her to “just wait.”
On Tuesday, at 11:01 am local time, Ramos called her and told her he loved her, according to her. Then, about 20 minutes later, he texted her that he had shot her grandmother.
As of Wednesday, the attacker’s 66-year-old grandmother was in serious condition at a San Antonio hospital, authorities said.
The attacker crashed his vehicle before the massacre
It’s not clear why Ramos decided to attack Robb Elementary, a school that had 535 students in grades 2 through 4 last year.
But before entering the school, his vehicle crashed into a nearby ditch, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Sgt. Eric Estrada said. The cause of the accident was not clear.
Ramos exited the vehicle wearing a bulletproof vest and a rifle, the Sgt.
How the shooting at Robb Elementary School unfolded
The shooter was met by a school district police officer, who was unable to stop him, Estrada said.
“He confronted a police officer from the Uvalde ISD who works here at the school. And after that, he confronted two other officers from the Uvalde Police Department,” Estrada said.
The agents have not clarified how Ramos managed to pass them and open fire in the adjacent classrooms.
While “engaging” with the school officer, the attacker dropped a black bag filled with ammunition outside the school, Estrada told WABNEWS’s Wolf Blitzer.
“Inside that bag there was actually more ammunition. He actually dropped that ammunition and ran into the school where he barricaded himself in one of the classrooms and unfortunately that’s where he started shooting innocent children, shooting the two adults innocent people that were inside that classroom,” Estrada said.
DPS is still investigating what happened during that interaction, but during a news conference, Director Steven McGraw said no shots were fired.
Greg Abbot explained how the attacker’s actions were at the Uvalde school 1:01
More than 100 federal agents responded to Tuesday’s deadly shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, according to Customs and Border Patrol.
“When all was said and done, we had over 80 agents immediately on the scene, and after that about 150 agents converged on this area,” CBP Chief Raul Ortiz told WABNEWS on Wednesday.
Ortiz said those agents came from various divisions, including Border Patrol, Air and Marine Operations, and Homeland Security Investigations.
The agents and other security agents were shot by the attacker, who had barricaded himself, tweeted Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha Espinosa.
“At the risk of their own lives, these Border Patrol agents and other officers stepped between the shooter and children at the scene to divert the shooter’s attention from potential victims and save lives,” he wrote.
Ultimately, a tactical agency “was able to eliminate the threat and remove the suspect,” Estrada said.
What we know about the victims of the shooting
Hours after the shooting, families waited in agony at a nearby civic center to find out if their loved ones had survived. Some told WABNEWS they gave DNA samples to help identify the victims.
“We see people coming out terrified. They’re crying. They’re being told their son is dead,” said state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who was at the civic center Tuesday.
Outside, a father who had just learned his son was killed fought back tears as his cousins hugged him, WABNEWS’s Nicole Chavez reported.
A few meters away a grandmother from San Antonio arrived. She said she would not stop praying for her 10-year-old granddaughter while they awaited the identification results of the DNA swabs.
On Wednesday morning, several families confirmed that they had received devastating news.
Just hours before he was killed, 10-year-old Xavier López was honored at Robb Elementary’s honor roll ceremony, his mother, Felicha Martínez, told The Washington Post.
“I really couldn’t wait to go to high school,” he said.
Ángel Garza said he spent seven hours looking for his 10-year-old daughter. He eventually learned that Amerie Jo Garza was among the children killed.
“Please don’t take a second for granted,” Garza posted on Facebook. “Hug your family. Tell them you love them.”
Eliahana ‘Elijah’ Cruz Torres, 10, was also one of the victims, her aunt Leandra Vera told WABNEWS. “Our baby gained her wings,” she said.
Tess Marie Mata, also 10, was killed in the shooting, her sister Faith Mata, 21, confirmed to The Washington Post.
“My precious angel, I love you deeply. In my eyes, you are not a victim but a survivor. I love you always and forever, little sister, may your wings rise higher than you could ever dream of,” Faith Mata wrote on Twitter. .
Tess was a fourth grader who loved TikTok dances, Ariana Grande and the Houston Astros, Faith Mata told the Post. Tess was saving money for a family trip to Disney World.
As of Wednesday, six victims remained hospitalized, four of whom, including the shooter’s grandmother, are at San Antonio University Hospital, according to the hospital.
Two 10-year-old girls are among those in hospital, one in serious condition and the other in fair condition, the hospital said. A 9-year-old boy in the hospital is also in good condition.
Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio was treating two adult patients from the shooting. Both are listed in serious condition, the hospital tweeted.
The bodies of nine victims were planned to be delivered to funeral homes on Wednesday night, Judge Lalo Diaz told WABNEWS. The remaining 12 will be announced Thursday, Diaz said.
What we know about the attacker, Salvador Ramos
The gunman was a student at Uvalde High School, authorities said.
Three days before the shooting, a photo of two AR-15-style rifles surfaced on an Instagram account linked to Salvador Ramos.
One of Ramos’ former classmates, who did not want to be identified, told WABNEWS that Ramos recently sent him a photo showing an AR-15, a backpack with ammunition cartridges and several gun magazines.
“I was like, ‘Brother, why do you have this?’ and he said, ‘Don’t worry about it,'” the friend said.
“He proceeded to text me, ‘I look so different now. You wouldn’t recognize me,'” the friend added.
The friend said that Ramos had stopped attending school regularly.
Ramos worked at a local Wendy’s, the restaurant’s manager told WABNEWS.
The night manager, Adrian Mendes, said Ramos “mainly kept to himself” and “didn’t really socialize with the other employees… He just worked, got paid and came to get his check.”
The teenager in Germany who said she and Ramos had communicated for weeks said Ramos told her he spends a lot of time alone at home.
“Every time I talked to him,” she said, “he never had any plans with his friends.”
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