HONDO, Texas—The father of the 18-year-old gunman who killed 21 people at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, this week wants the world to know he is sorry.
In an interview with The Daily Beast on Thursday, Salvador Ramos said, “I just want the people to know I’m sorry man, [for] what my son did.”
“I never expected my son to do something like that,” Ramos, 42, added. “He should’ve just killed me, you know, instead of doing something like that to someone.”
His son, also called Salvador, shot his grandmother in the face on Tuesday and drove away with her car, before running the truck into a ditch outside Robb Elementary and opening fire on a fourth-grade classroom. The teenager was shot and killed at the scene.
It was the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in nearly a decade.
The younger Ramos reportedly had a poor relationship with his mother and had dropped out of high school ahead of his graduation this year. His father admitted he had not spent much time with him lately because he was employed outside Uvalde—he digs holes around utility poles for inspection—and because of the pandemic.
His own mother was suffering from cancer, Ramos said, and he could not risk being exposed to the coronavirus. He added that his son grew frustrated with the COVID precautions about a month ago and refused to speak to him.
Ramos has not seen him since.
“I’m never gonna see my son again,” he said.
The Daily Beast spoke with Ramos on the porch of his girlfriend’s home in Hondo, about 40 miles east of Uvalde, where he has been living for several years. The house and the bushes outside were adorned with blue and white streamers for a graduating senior.
Despite the horrific slaughter he carried out Tuesday, Ramos insisted that his son was “a good person.”
“He dropped out because he said they were bullying him at school because of his clothes,” he said. “He was a quiet person, stuck to himself. He didn't bother nobody. People were always bothering him.”
—with reporting by Emily Shugerman and William Bredderman