The suspected Robb Elementary School gunman, Salvador Ramos, reportedly confronted an armed security guard before entering the school building.
The Texas Department of Public Safety found Ramos bought two semi-automatic AR-15 weapons and 375 rounds of ammunition at a local sporting goods shop around the time of his 18th birthday the week earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported. He told a friend in a private Facebook message that planned to shoot up an elementary school.
The gunman shot his 66-year-old grandmother in the face Tuesday before getting in her car to drive to the elementary school, the outlet reported. When he arrived, police officials said he managed to get past an armed school security guard and made his way to a fourth-grade classroom.
The Texas Department of Safety regional director Victor Escalon told reporters Thursday that reports of Ramos encountering an armed security guard is “not accurate,” and that in fact there were no armed security guards present at the time of the shooting. The door was also unlocked when the gunman entered, he said.
Ramos shot two teachers and several students inside the classroom before barricading himself inside, the outlet reported. He shot and injured two Uvalde police officers during their attempts to enter the room.
The barricade led to a Border Patrol team called Bortac to arrive at the scene, rush into the building to confront Ramos, and evacuate the children and faculty inside, according to the outlet. The team had to use a master key to enter due to the steel door and cinder block construction. As three agents entered the room, one was wounded by shrapnel, another took hits to his shield and the third fatally shot the suspect.
The agents discovered piles of dead children upon entering the classroom, the outlet reported. At least 19 children and 2 adults were killed in the attack, while 17 were injured. Among the deceased were 10-year-olds Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, Xavier Javier Lopez, and 8-year-old Uziyah Garcia. (RELATED: ‘He Did Nothing’: Beto O’Rourke Tears Into Gov. Abbott Moments After Derailing His Press Conference)
“It’s a small classroom, you can have anywhere from 25 to 30 students in there, plus there were two teachers in there. … So don’t have exact number of how many students were in that classroom, but it could vary … It was a classroom setting, a typical classroom setting where you have mass groups of children inside that classroom all together, with nowhere to go,” Lt. Chris Olivarez said.
Authorities found no past criminal history or mental health concerns in Ramos’ background, though state officials admitted that if he has a juvenile criminal record, it would not be accessible, the Wall Street Journal reported.
President Joe Biden announced his plan Wednesday to visit Uvalde with First Lady Jill Biden in the near future to pay their respects to the victims and their families.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference in Uvalde Wednesday to address the shooting where tensions boiled over as former Democratic Texas Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke derailed the event accusing the governor of being responsible for the attack.