EXCLUSIVE: Mother of Texas elementary school shooter claims her son, 18, was NOT a violent person but was a loner – as she keeps vigil at HER mother’s side after he shot her in face at start of rampage
- Adriana Reyes said she was ‘surprised’ by Salvador Ramos opening fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde
- She admitted son ‘kept to himself and didn’t have many friends’ but shot down claims they were on bad terms
- Ramos was shot dead after a shooting left 19 children and two teachers dead and his grandmother in hospital
- He had earlier bought two AR-15s, bragged about them and hinted he would commit atrocity on social media
The mother of the sick school shooter who shot dead 19 children and two teachers in Texas has claimed he ‘wasn’t a violent person’.
Adriana Reyes said she was ‘surprised’ Salvador Ramos opened fire in a horrific killing spree at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde yesterday.
She admitted her son was a loner who ‘kept to himself and didn’t have many friends’ but shot down reports she had a toxic relationship with him.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com she did not address claims she was a drug addict who saw the boy ditch her and go to live with his grandmother Celia Gonzalez.
Reyes was speaking from the bedside of Gonzalez, 66, as she recovers from being blasted in the face by her vile grandson before he went on a rampage and shot dead 19 children and two teachers.
He had bought two AR-15 assault rifles, bragged about them on social media and suggested he would commit an atrocity before the deadly attack.
But earlier today Ramos’ grandfather revealed the family had no idea he legally purchased the two weapons last week.
Rolando Reyes, 74, Gonzalez’s husband, also claimed his grandson had been a quiet teenager who spent most of his time alone in his room.
Adriana Reyes said she was ‘surprised’ by Salvador Ramos opening fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde yesterday
She admitted her son was a loner who ‘kept to himself and didn’t have many friends’ but shot down claims she had a toxic relationship with him
Ramos was shot dead after his shooting spree left 19 children and two teachers dead as well as his grandmother Celia Gonzalez (pictured) fighting for her life after he blasted her in the face
Rolando Reyes, 74, says he had no idea his grandson bought two AR-15s last week. Salvador Ramos bought the guns last week a day after celebrating his 18th birthday with his grandmother at Applebee’s
Tuesday’s violence began when Ramos shot and critically wounded his grandmother at her home (above) in Uvalde. The grandmother survived and Ramos then drove the short distance to Robb Elementary and opened fire
Ramos grew up in Hood Street before moving to his grandmother’s house some months ago, neighbors claimed
UVALDE SHOOTING VICTIMS NAMED SO FAR:
- Irma Garcia, 46 – fourth grade teacher
- Eva Mireles, 44 – fourth grade teacher
- Amerie Jo Garza, 10
- Uziyah Garcia, 8
- Makenna Elrod, 10
- Xavier Lopez, 10
- Eliahana Torres, 10
- Ellie Lugo, 10
- Nevaeh Bravo
- Tess Marie Mata
- Rojelio Torres, 10
- Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10
- Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10
- Alithia Ramirez, 10
- Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10
- Miranda Mathis, 11
- Alexandria ‘Lexi’ Aniyah Rubio, 10
- Maite Yuleana
- Jose Flores Jr, 10
Speaking to DailyMail.com from San Antonio, Reyes said: ‘My son wasn’t a violent person. I’m surprised by what he did.
‘I pray for those families. I’m praying for all of those innocent children, yes I am. They [the children] had no part in this.’
She was speaking from the hospital where her mother Gonzalez was still being treated for the gunshot wounds to her face.
She also slapped down reports she had a toxic relationship with her son that may have warped his personality. She continued: ‘I had a good relationship with him. He kept to himself; he didn’t have many friends.’
She said the last time she spoke with him was last Monday, on his birthday, adding: ‘I had a card and a Snoopy stuffed animal to give to him.’
She claims she did not know where Salvador shot her mother but added, me and my sister are going to care for her when she gets home to Uvalde.
She said her mother ‘with her left hand, was able to hold my hand.’ She added her mother cannot smile but knows she is there for her. She said doctors do not know what her mother’s prognosis is.
Earlier today the boy’s grandfather Rolando Reyes told how the family were kept in the dark about the two lethal weapons he bought.
He told ABC News: ‘I didn’t know he had weapons. If I’d have known, I would have reported it.’
Ramos is believed to have gone to live with his grandparents after rowing with his mother about cutting to WiFi at their home.
The shooter’s grandfather also revealed he was quiet and would sometimes go to work with him.
He said: ‘Sometimes I’d take him to work with me. Not all the time, but sometimes. This past year he didn’t go to school. He didn’t graduate. You would try to tell him but kids nowadays they think they know everything.
‘He was very quiet, he didn’t talk very much.’ The teen did not live with his mother because they had ‘problems’, the grandfather added.
Fourth grader Alithia Ramirez (at left) was confirmed dead early Wednesday by her father, Ryan Ramirez, who shared a post to Facebook showing the 10-year-old with angel’s wings. He had used the same photo the previous day as he pleaded for help finding her after the massacre. Jaliah Nicole Silguero (at right) was also confirmed as one of the victims early Wednesday, with her mother Veronica Luevanos also sharing a memorial post saying saying she was ‘heartbroken’ over the loss
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos (at left), who appears to be Jaliah’s cousin based on posts shared by the family, was confirmed as one of the dead Wednesday by his aunt. ‘Still can’t believe that we’re never gonna see you again,’ she wrote on Facebook. Amerie Jo Garza (pictured at right with her father, Angel Garza) was confirmed dead by her dad Wednesday. The grieving parent captioned the post: ‘My little love is now flying high with the angels above’
Uziyah Garcia, 8, (left) and Makenna Elrod, 10, (right) were both also confirmed dead by loved ones on Facebook
Xavier Lopez, 10, (left) and Eliahana Torres, 10, (right) was also killed at the school shooting on Tuesday
Ellie Lugo (left) and Nevaeh Bravo (right) were also killed. Ellie was reported as missing for several hours before her parents confirmed her death
Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10, and Rogelio Torres, right, were also killed
Fourth-grader Tess Marie Mata was named by her sister, who described her younger sibling as a ‘precious angel’
Alexandria Aniyah Rubio – who was better known to friends as ‘Lexi’ – was confirmed dead just before midnight on Tuesday
Jose Flores, 10, was also killed in the shooting after attending the honor roll ceremony, where he was pictured triumphantly clutching a certificate celebrating the accomplishment
Irma Garcia (left) and Eva Mireles (right), who co-taught fourth grade, were both shot and killed at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday
It comes after it emerged Ramos had warned in online messages minutes before the attack he had shot his grandmother and was going to shoot up a school.
He used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle in the bloodbath Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. He had legally bought two such rifles just days before, soon after his birthday, authorities said.
Investigators shed no immediate light on the motive. Gov. Greg Abbott said Ramos, a resident of the community about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of San Antonio, had no known criminal or mental health history.
But about 30 minutes before the bloodbath, Ramos made three social media posts, Abbott said. According to the governor, Ramos posted he was going to shoot his grandmother, then he had shot the woman, and finally he was going to shoot up an elementary school.
Seventeen people were also injured in the attack. ‘Evil swept across Uvalde yesterday. Anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face has to have evil in his heart,’ Abbott said at a news conference.
‘But it is far more evil for someone to gun down little kids. It is intolerable and it is unacceptable for us to have in the state anybody who would kill little kids in our schools.’
Democrat Beto O´Rourke, who is running against Abbott for governor this year, interrupted the news conference, calling the Republican´s response to the tragedy ‘predictable.’ O´Rourke was escorted out while members of the crowd yelled at him, with one man calling him a ‘sick son of a bitch.’
As details of the latest mass killing to rock the US emerged, grief engulfed the small town of Uvalde, population 16,000.
The dead included an outgoing 10-year-old, Eliahna Garcia, who loved to sing, dance and play basketball; a fellow fourth grader, Xavier Javier Lopez, who had been eagerly awaiting a summer of swimming; and a teacher, Eva Mireles, with 17 years´ experience whose husband is an officer with the school district´s police department.
‘I just don´t know how people can sell that type of a gun to a kid 18 years old,’ Eliahna´s aunt, Siria Arizmendi, said angrily through tears. ‘What is he going to use it for but for that purpose?’
Lt Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety told CNN that all of those killed were in the same fourth-grade classroom.
The killer ‘barricaded himself by locking the door and just started shooting children and teachers that were inside that classroom,’ Olivarez said. ‘It just shows you the complete evil of the shooter.’
Law enforcement officers eventually broke into the classroom and killed the gunman. Police and others responding to the attack also went around breaking windows at the school to enable students and teachers to escape.
Salvador Ramos legally purchased two AR-15 style rifles including the one he used in yesterday’s attack after his 18th birthday last week. The gunman also bought more than 300 rounds of ammunition
One of the weapons the gunman bought was an $1,870 Daniel Defense weapon which he posted a receipt for on Yubo (left), according to The Daily Dot. The weapons are ordered online then picked up from local Daniel Defense dealers
One video at the scene appears to show the suspected gunman, named by Governor Greg Abbott as Salvador Ramos, approach the school while what sounds like gunfire is going off in the background
A police vehicle is seen parked near of a truck believed to belong to the suspect behind a shooting at Robb Elementary School
These are the Daniel Defense dealer locations within 100 miles of the shooter’s hometown of Uvalde, Texas . There are also several firearms stores in the town
New video from the chaotic scene shows police arriving to the scene with their guns in hand
Ramos’s home in Uvalde is seen on Tuesday as police try to fathom a motive for the shooting
Law enforcement are seen near the crime scene on Tuesday afternoon after the mass murder at the school
The attack in the predominantly Latino town of Uvalde was the deadliest school shooting in the US since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.
The bloodshed was the latest in a seemingly unending string of mass killings at churches, schools, stores and other sites in the United States. Just 10 days earlier, 10 Black people were shot to death in a racist rampage at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket.
In a somber address to the nation hours after the attack in Texas, President Joe Biden pleaded for Americans to ‘stand up to the gun lobby’ and enact tougher restrictions, saying: ‘When in God´s name are we going to do what has to be done?’
But the prospects for any reform of the nation´s gun regulations appeared dim. Repeated attempts over the years to expand background checks and enact other curbs have run into Republican opposition in Congress.
On social media in the days and hours before the massacre, Ramos appeared to drop hints that something was going to happen.
On the day Ramos bought his second weapon last week, an Instagram account that investigators say apparently belong to Ramos carried a photo of two AR-style rifles. Ramos apparently tagged another Instagram user, one with more than 10,000 followers, asking her to share the picture with her followers.
‘I barely know you and u tag me in a picture with some guns,’ replied the Instagram user, who has since removed her profile. ‘It´s just scary.’
On the morning of the attack, the account linked to the gunman replied: ‘I´m about to.’
Instagram confirmed it was working with law enforcement to review the account but declined to answer questions about the postings.
Investigators are also looking at an account on TikTok, possibly belonging to the shooter, with a profile that reads: ‘Kids be scared IRL,’ an acronym meaning ‘in real life.’ The profile is not dated.
Investigators do not yet know why Ramos targeted the school, said Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
‘We don´t see a motive or catalyst right now,’ he said.
People waiting for news of their loved ones following a mass shooting in Texas embrace outside a civic center in the city
Two women weep as they embrace one-another following a mass shooting at a Texas school which killed at least 19 children
A woman cries while speaking on the phone outside the Ssgt Willie de Leon Civic Center, where students had been transported from Robb Elementary School to be picked up following the shooting
Women embrace one-another as they mourn outside a civic center in the city of Uvalde, southern Texas, following a mass shooting at an elementary school
Crowds of people comfort one-another following a mass shooting at a school in the city of Uvalde, southern Texas
America’s worst school shootings
There have been dozens of shootings and other attacks in US schools and colleges over the years, but until the massacre at Colorado’s Columbine High School in 1999, the number of dead tended to be in the single digits.
Since then, the number of shootings that included schools and killed 10 or more people has mounted. The most recent two were both in Texas.
ROBB ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, May 2022
An 18-year-old gunman opened fire Tuesday at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children, two teachers and injuring others, Gov. Greg Abbott said. The shooter died.
SANTA FE HIGH SCHOOL, May 2018
A 17-year-old opened fire at a Houston-area high school, killing 10 people, most of them students, authorities said. The suspect has been charged with murder.
MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL, February 2018
An attack left 14 students and three staff members dead at the school in Parkland, Florida, and injured many others. The 20-year-old suspect was charged with murder.
UMPQUA COMMUNITY COLLEGE, October 2015
A man killed nine people at the school in Roseburg, Oregon, and wounded nine others, then killed himself.
SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, December 2012
A 19-year-old man killed his mother at their home in Newtown, Connecticut, then went to the nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 first graders and six educators. He took his own life.
VIRGINIA TECH, April 2007
A 23-year-old student killed 32 people on the campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, in April 2007; more than two dozen others were wounded. The gunman then killed himself.
RED LAKE HIGH SCHOOL, March 2005
A 16-year-old student killed his grandfather and the man’s companion at their Minnesota home, then went to nearby Red Lake High School, where he killed five students, a teacher and a security guard before shooting himself.
COLUMBINE HIGH SCHOOL, April 1999
Two students killed 12 of their peers and one teacher at the school in Littleton, Colorado, and injured many others before killing themselves.
Officers found one of the rifles in Ramos´ truck, the other in the school, according to the briefing given to lawmakers. Ramos was wearing a tactical vest, but it had no hardened body-armor plates inside, lawmakers were told. He also dropped a backpack containing several magazines full of ammunition near the school entrance.
One of the guns was purchased at a federally licensed dealer in the Uvalde area on May 17, according to state Sen. John Whitmire, who was briefed by investigators. Ramos bought 375 rounds of ammunition the next day, then purchased the second rifle last Friday.
On Tuesday morning, Ramos shot and wounded his grandmother at her home, then left. Neighbors called police when she staggered outside and they saw she had been shot in the face, Department of Public Safety spokesperson Travis Considine said.
Ramos then crashed his truck through a railing on the school grounds, and an Uvalde school district officer exchanged fire with him and was wounded, Considine said.
Ramos went inside and exchanged more gunfire with two arriving Uvalde police officers, who were still outside, Considine said. Those officers were also wounded.
Dillon Silva, whose nephew was in a nearby classroom, said students were watching the Disney movie ‘Moana’ when they heard several loud pops and a bullet shattered a window. Moments later, their teacher saw the attacker stride past the door.
‘Oh, my God, he has a gun!’ the teacher shouted twice, according to Silva. ‘The teacher didn´t even have time to lock the door,’ he said.
A tactical team forced its way into the classroom where the attacker was holed up and was met with gunfire from Ramos but shot and killed him, according to Olivarez.
In the aftermath, families in Uvalde waited hours for word on their children. At the town civic center where some gathered Tuesday night, the silence was broken repeatedly by screams and wails.
‘No! Please, no!’ one man yelled as he embraced another man. On Wednesday morning, volunteers were seen arriving with Bibles and therapy dogs.
Three children and an adult were being treated at a San Antonio hospital, where two of them – a 66-year-old woman and 10-year-old girl – were listed in serious condition.
Uvalde, home to about 16,000 people, is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the Mexican border. Robb Elementary, which has nearly 600 students in second, third and fourth grades, is a single-story brick structure in a mostly residential neighborhood of modest homes.
The close-knit community, built around a shaded central square, includes many Hispanic families who have lived there for generations. It sits amid fields of cabbage, onions, carrots and other vegetables. But many of the steadiest jobs are supplied by companies that produce construction materials.
The attack came as the school was counting down to the last days of the school year with a series of themed days. Tuesday was to be ‘Footloose and Fancy,’ with students wearing nice outfits.
Texas, which has some of the most gun-friendly laws in the nation, has been the site of some of the deadliest shootings in the U.S. over the past five years.
In 2018, a gunman killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area. A year before that, a gunman shot more than two dozen people to death during a Sunday service in the small town of Sutherland Springs. In 2019, a gunman at a Walmart in El Paso killed 23 people in a racist attack targeting Hispanics.
The shooting came days before the National Rifle Association annual convention was set to begin in Houston. The governor and both of Texas´ U.S. senators, all of them Republicans, were among the scheduled speakers at a forum Friday.
Timeline of terror: How Texas elementary school gunman shot his grandmother then crashed her pickup, barricaded himself in a classroom and slaughtered 19 kids and two teachers – before cops killed him
- New details are emerging in the school shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday
- Salvador Ramos, 18, was killed by police after massacring 19 children and two teachers
- Ramos first shot and critically wounded his grandmother at her home under a mile from the school
- He then drove a black Ford F-150 to the school and crashed into a ditch behind the elementary
- Ramos stormed the school, exchanging fire with cops, and barricaded himself inside a classroom
- CBP tactical unit breached the classroom and shot Ramos dead, potentially saving many more lives
New details are emerging in the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 21 people dead, including 19 elementary students.
Salvador Ramos, 18, on Tuesday committed the deadliest US school massacre since the Sandy Hook shooting nearly a decade ago, going on a rampage at Robb Elementary before being shot dead by police.
Officials say that the two AR-15-style rifles recovered from the shooting scene were purchased by Ramos earlier this month, just days after his 18th birthday.
Ramos purchased one of the rifles on May 17, and the following day he bought 375 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition. Ramos purchased other rifle on May 20, and posted pictures of the guns on Instagram.
Tuesday’s violence began when Ramos shot and critically wounded his grandmother at her home in Uvalde, where he had reportedly been living for several months after domestic problems in his mother’s home across town.
Savador Ramos first shot his grandmother at her house, before driving half a mile to Robb Elementary and crashing a truck outside the school. He stormed the building and killed 21 before he was shot dead
The grandmother was airlifted to a hospital and was still clinging to life on Wednesday.
After shooting his grandmother, Ramos drove in a black Ford F-150 pickup truck the short distance to Robb Elementary, just half a mile away.
Veering wildly off the road, Ramos crashed the truck into a culvert behind the elementary school, according to officials and photos from the scene.
At 11.32am, the first 911 call came in reporting the vehicle crash, and saying a man with a gun was exiting the truck.
Ramos, wearing body armor, apparently left one of the rifles in the truck, and carried the other with him towards the school, along with a backpack full of ammunition.
Investigators say that Ramos dropped the backpack near an entrance to the school, and that it contained seven 30-round magazines. It’s unclear whether the magazines held live ammunition.
Police told news station KENS 5 that Ramos exchanged gunfire with police as he stormed into the school, but ultimately cops were unable to prevent him from gaining entry.
Ramos crashed his truck into a ditch before entering the school. Cops found one of his AR-15 guns inside the vehicle, and he had also dumped a bag (circled) nearby. At the entrance of the school, they found his backpack which contained ammunition
‘The suspect made entry into the school and as soon as he made entry into the school he started shooting children, teachers, whoever’s in his way,’ Department of Public Safety Lt. Christopher Olivarez told the station.
‘He was shooting everybody,’ the state official said.
Olivarez told CNN that the shooter barricade himself inside of a single classroom, and that it is inside that classroom where most or all of the 19 children and two teachers were killed.
The children killed were believed to be third and fourth grade students. Robb Elementary serves grades two through four, officials said.
Police and state troopers arrived in time to hear gunshots inside a classroom where the man barricaded himself and began shooting children and teachers.
Olivarez said some of the officers were shot by the gunman, so others began breaking windows around the school trying to evacuate children and teachers.
Meanwhile, a nearby Customs and Border Protection tactical unit responded to provide backup.
In this aerial view, law enforcement works on scene at Robb Elementary School where at least 21 people were killed yesterday
The agent who ended Tuesday’s school massacre by shooting and killing the Robb Elementary school gunman is reported to be part of an ‘elite’ CBP tactical unit. Law enforcement personnel are pictured at the scene of the shooting
Olivarez said ‘tactical law enforcement’ forced their way into the classroom, where ‘they were met with gunfire as well but they were able to shoot and kill that suspect.’
The unnamed agent who shot and killed Ramos is believed to be from the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), which has specialized agents dispersed throughout the United States.
The BORTAC agent, whose identity has not yet been revealed, rushed into the school without waiting for backup.
Ramos was behind a barricade, returning fire, but the border patrol agent managed to shoot and kill the gunman before he could claim more victims.
‘They came in from opposite sides. The BORTAC agent ended up exchanging gunfire with the shooter, killed the shooter, and I am told that the agent was injured in his leg,’ reported Fox News.
‘They are trying to figure out if he was shot in the leg or hit by shrapnel.’
More than a dozen children were also hurt in the attack, including a ten-year-old girl taken to hospital in the nearby city of San Antonio in critical condition. A 66-year-old woman – believed to be Ramos’s grandmother who he shot at the start of his killing spree – was in the same hospital, also in critical.
A second hospital within Uvalde itself said 13 children had been brought to them, without saying what condition they are in. Police warned late Tuesday that the death toll is expected to rise.
Law enforcement work the scene after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. The gunman, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement
The unnamed agent who shot and killed Ramos is believed to be from the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), which has specialized agents dispersed throughout the United States
Police work the scene after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where 19 children and two adults were killed
BORTAC is headquartered in El Paso, Texas, explaining the presence of the agent from the unusual tactical unit.
The unit is unique in that it conducts training and operations both in the United States and in other countries ‘in furtherance of the US Border Patrol’s mission’, according to CBP.
Dozens more children may have been killed if the BORTAC agent had not intervened, with the killer claiming the lives of 19 children and two teachers before he was stopped.
The agent was wounded but able to walk out of the school, law enforcement official said.
Meanwhile, teams of Border Patrol agents raced to the school, according to Jason Owens, a top regional official with the Border Patrol.
A number of the shooting victims are children of Customs and Border Protection agents, according to ABC News.
‘It hit home for everybody,’ he said.
A picture of the gunman has also started to emerge as a bullied loner, picked on at school because of a lisp, a habit of wearing eyeliner, his clothes and because he came from a poor family.
Those who knew Ramos or his relatives say he was a ‘nice’ but ‘quiet’ boy who grew increasingly violent as he became older, amid relentless bullying both in school and online.
Santos Valdez told the Washington Post that he used to be friends with Ramos and played online shooter games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty with him, until the pair stopped talking as Ramos’s behaviour ‘deteriorated.’
Valdez said Ramos had showed up to the park one time with cuts all over his face, initially claiming he was scratched by a cat before admitting that he did it to himself with a knife.
Stephen Garcia, who considered himself Ramos’s best friend in eighth grade, said he was ‘bullied by a lot of people’ including for over a photo of himself wearing eyeliner which led to ‘gay’ taunts. Garcia said Ramos dropped out of school when he moved away to another part of the state, and the two had lost touch.
Others confirmed that Ramos had stopped attending classes, and did not intend to take part in graduation this summer. Instead, he got a job at a local Wendy’s restaurant.
A colleague there described Ramos has having an aggressive streak. She told the Daily Beast he walked around with a pair of boxing gloves at the park, asking people to fight him and filming it. He also menaced co-workers, asking one of the cooks: ‘Do you know who I am?’
‘He would be very rude towards the girls sometimes… and he would also send inappropriate texts to the ladies,’ the former colleague said, asking for her name not to be used.
As an 18th birthday present to himself earlier this month, Ramos bought two AR-style rifles and paraded them on social media, including in ominous messages sent hours before the killing started.
A teenage acquaintance of Ramos, who lives in Los Angeles and claims to barely know him, posted screenshots of messages he sent her early Tuesday after tagging her in a picture of his rifles. In them, he said he wanted to share a ‘lil secret’ and urged her to respond to him. The conversation ended before Ramos revealed his secret.