On Tuesday, the unthinkable happened at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. An 18-year-old male walked into the building and opened fire on children and teachers, killing 19 students and two adults.
Many parents in Uvalde are facing the kind of tragedy that they had never even imagined in their wildest nightmares. The shooter has been identified as Salvador Ramos, a local teenager who was fatally wounded at Robb Elementary School after he shot and killed 21 people. Officials confirmed that Ramos was working alone.
Naturally, many people have questions about who this maniacal murderer is and what his motives were. While we don't have all the answers yet, here's what we know so far about Ramos.
Salvador Ramos Was a Troubled Teenager Who Had Few Friends
Ramos attended Uvalde High School and accounts say that he was teased by the other students for the way he dressed, his speech impediment, and sometimes even for his family members. He didn't have many friends in school, and he was often described as a quiet person. Charlie Marsh, who was in the same grade as Ramos, said that other kids would call him homophobic slurs in an attempt to upset him.
Jeremiah Munoz was another student who knew Ramos; although they were four years apart, they became friends and played video games together. When Munoz played Xbox with Ramos, he could hear him arguing with his mother in the microphone. The two would yell at each other, and his mother would say he was doing nothing useful with his life. The fighting would take place so often that Ramos would often go stay with his grandmother for extended periods of time. In fact, police officials say that Ramos shot his grandmother just before he left her home to go to Robb Elementary School.
It was also reported that Ramos worked at a local Wendy's, where the night manager said that he kept to himself and didn't interact with the other employees, even when everyone was being friendly with one another.
“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,” a former co-worker at Wendy's said about Ramos. “At the park, there’d be videos of him trying to fight people with boxing gloves. He’d take them around with him.”
A former friend named Santos Valdez, Jr., who has known Ramos since they were in elementary school, told the Washington Post that Ramos once took a knife and cut up his own face "over and over and over," just for fun. Apparently, Ramos' behavior had been deteriorating in the months leading up to the shooting.
Another friend said that Ramos once took a picture of himself wearing black eyeliner, for which he was teased. Not long after, Ramos dropped out of school, started dressing in head-to-toe black and military boots, and grew his hair out. Even if he had stayed in school, his classmates said he would rarely show up to class anyway and likely wasn't on track to graduate with his peers. Prior to getting his hands on real guns, Ramos was known to shoot people with his BB gun and to egg people's cars.
Salvador Ramos Sent Cryptic Messages That Hinted at His Actions before the Massacre
We know that Ramos legally purchased two rifles just days after his 18th birthday as well as 375 rounds of ammunition, and a year ago he posted photos on his Instagram page of automatic rifles that were on his "wish list." Just a few days before the shooting, he posted the images of the two rifles he purchased, which he called "my gun pics." On April 28, Ramos posted a picture of himself holding a magazine.
Ramos used his Instagram page to direct message someone in Los Angeles on the morning of the shooting, telling them that he "got a lil secret."
"I'll text you in a hour," he wrote. "But you HAVE TO RESPOND. I wanna tell u."
About two hours later, he messaged the person again and wrote "Ima air out." That was the last thing he wrote. After he was identified as the shooter, his whole Instagram account was deleted.
There are some comments floating around that Ramos was transgender and cross-dressed, but that has yet to be confirmed and for now these are just rumors.