The Uvalde gunman Salvador Ramos posted photos of guns on an Instagram page before the mass shooting that took the lives of at least 21 people, including 19 elementary students.
Ramos used the page to send cryptic and now chilling messages to a stranger. You can see photos from the Instagram page throughout this story. Multiple classmates told CNN that Instagram page belonged to the shooter. The page was deleted shortly after the massacre.
The first victim named was fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles. You can see a roundup of victims’ tributes here.
The police response is causing controversy; the father of one murder victim said parents even considered rushing in themselves. You can read a detailed minute-by-minute timeline on the mass shooting, including 911 calls, social media posts, and police response, here.
“The shooter is no longer alive,” Governor Greg Abbott said in a news conference. “The shooter was Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old male who resided in Uvalde.” The mass shooting occurred around noon on May 24, 2022.
Although the Instagram page has not been publicly authenticated by authorities, it was removed shortly after the shootings. The page followed Uvalde High School students. Several people who claim to know the shooter posted to their Instagram stories about the page after the massacre, saying it belonged to Ramos.
The Texas governor said that Ramos telegraphed his intentions on Facebook. However, Meta, which runs Facebook, then clarified that this communication came in a private Facebook message, not a public post.
CNN obtained “chilling text messages” Ramos sent to someone in Germany the morning of the mass shooting. Reporter Drew Griffin obtained the messages.
Referring to his grandmother, Ramos wrote, “ima do something to her rn. Omg. She’s on the phone with AT&T about my phone. It’s annoying. I just shot my grandma in her head. Ima go shoot up a elementary school rn.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Instagram Page Contains Pictures of Guns
The Instagram page contains several pictures of firearms as well as selfies.
The photo below was posted on the Instagram page. Another Instagram user also shared it to her story, writing, “Salvador there’s no way u did that that couldn’t have been you.”
Ramos entered the school with a handgun and possibly a rifle, the governor said. The Associated Press later reported the gunman was carrying “two military-style rifles.”
“Mr. Ramos, the shooter, he himself is deceased, and it is believed that responding officers killed him. Two responding officers were struck by rounds but have no serious injuries,” Abbott said on May 24, 2022. Abbott said the gunman was a U.S. citizen.
In a news conference on May 27, 2022, authorities confirmed that Ramos did not post publicly on Facebook that he was going to shoot his grandmother and that he had shot her and third that he was going to shoot up a school. He wrote those things privately via a Facebook messenger application.
In September 2021, Ramos asked his sister to help him buy a gun. She flatly refused.
On Feb. 28, 2022, in a four-group chat on Instagram, it was discussed about Ramos being a school shooter.
On March 1, 2022, a four-group chat on Instagram included Ramos discussing buying a gun.
On March 3, 2022, in another four-person chat, a person said that, “The word on the street is you’re buying a gun,” to which Ramos replied, “Just bought something.
March 14, 2022, there was an Instagram posting by Ramos saying “10 more days.” A user responded, “Are you going to shoot up the school or something.” Ramos answered, “No. Stop asking dumb questions, and you will see.”
The Instagram Page @Salv8dor_ Tagged a Woman Who Says She Does Not Know Him, Writing, ‘I Got Lil Secret’
The Instagram page under the username @salv8dor_ was deleted after the gunman’s name was announced by Abbott. The account included two selfies of a teen who appears to be the shooter, along with photos of two rifles. Another photo showed a person holding a gun magazine in his lap. The account followed multiple Instagram users confirmed by Heavy to be Uvalde High School students.
Another Instagram user shared messages she said the gunman sent her days before the shooting. That account was tagged by the gunman in his lone Instagram post. The Instagram user said in an Instagram story posted after the shooting that she does not live in Texas and does not know the shooter personally.
The woman posted messages she said were from a stranger who tagged her in a gun post on Instagram. “I got lil secret. I wanna tell you,” one message said.
“I don’t know him and I don’t even live in Texas,” she wrote in her story. “He’s a stranger. I know nothing about him. He decided to tag me in his gun post. So sorry for the victims and their families. I really don’t know what to say.”
The woman also shared message exchanges she said was with the Instagram user.
“Be grateful I tagged you,” he wrote in one message she shared. “No it’s just scary…” she wrote back.
“I’m about to,” he wrote in a message but did not elaborate.
“About to what?” she asked.
“I’ll tell you before 11,” he wrote.
The shooting occurred at noon.
“The only reason I responded to him was because I was afraid of him. I wish I stayed awake to at least try to convince him to not commit his crime. I don’t know,” the woman wrote in her story.
Another person wrote on Instagram, sharing a photo from the page, “Salvador Ramos was his name… I had no idea he was like this and if I had known it…I would not have been following him. I barely knew him… we just had normal conversation… we talked twice…”
A Video May Show the Gunman Entering the Elementary School
One video emerged on Facebook that shows what some believe is the gunman entering the school. “What my girls just sent me this is at Robb. Prayers for the kids and staff,” wrote Elsa G. Ruiz, who shared the video on Facebook.
Ramos was a student at Uvalde High School, according to Abbott. The motive is under investigation.
The suspect also shot his grandmother before he went into the school, according to the Associated Press. There have been conflicting reports about the grandmother’s condition, but it appears the 66-year-old woman was alive and hospitalized as of May 25.
“It is being reported that the subject shot his grandmother right before he went into the school. I have no further information about the connection between those two shootings,” the governor said in the news conference.
ABC News reported that the gunfire occurred inside the school, debunking early reports that the shooting occurred outside. Abbott said the gunman abandoned his car before entering the school and opening fire.
Authorities are “exploring his connection to the school” and “are working with a name and scouring social media,” ABC News reported.