A gunman fatally shot at least 19 students and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Authorities identified him as an 18-year-old living in Uvalde and said he was killed at the scene.
The shooter is believed to have carried out the attack with a long rifle.
Texas authorities identified an 18-year-old named Salvador Ramos as the gunman who killed at least 19 students and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday.
Details are still emerging about the shooter, described by friends and family as reclusive and at times violent. He lived with his grandmother after his relationship with his mother soured, and reached out to strangers online with increasingly alarming messages. Then, on Tuesday, just days after buying an arsenal of weapons, he drove to Robb Elementary School and carried out his attack, opening fire just before noon local time, according to authorities.
Immediately after the shooting on Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said during a press conference that the gunman, who was a US citizen and attended Uvalde High School, was later shot dead by officers at the scene.
He shared his plans with strangers online
Several individuals have come forward over the week, saying the gunman shared disturbing hints of the violence to come.
In private messanges on Facebook, he wrote that he would shoot his grandmother and attack an elementary school just moments before the attack, Abbot said Wednesday. A message sent less than 15 minutes before arriving at the school said "I'm going to shoot an elementary school," according to Abbott.
Andy Stone, a communications director at Facebook's parent company Meta, later clarified that the messages sent by the shooter were private and were discovered only after the "tragedy" occurred. Stone said Meta was cooperating with law enforcement as they investigate the shooting.
On the social networking app Yubo, the gunman shared details of his plans with a German teenager, who didn't realize he was serious until she saw the news later and alerted authorities through a friend in the states.
And, three days before the massacre, he shared on Instagram two pictures of the rifles he had just purchased, according to The New York Times.
Authorities say he shot his grandmother before going to the school
Immediately before the school rampage — the deadliest US school shooting in a decade — the gunman shot his grandmother and fled the scene, Lt. Christopher Olivarez, a spokesperson for the Texas Department for Public Safety said on Wednesday.
"What we do know is that the shooter was involved in a domestic disturbance with his grandmother," Olivarez said on NBC's "Today" show, adding, "Prior to the shooting at the school, he did shoot his grandmother."
According to DPS, his grandmother reported him to the police after she was able to run across the street to a neighbor and get help.
The grandmother was hospitalized in critical condition and is alive, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Erick Estrada told CNN. She is now in stable condition following the incident, authorities said Tuesday.
The gunman then drove to Robb Elementary School
After shooting his grandmother, the gunman crashed his car outside of Robb Elementary School at about 11:30 a.m. and then made his way into the building, Olivarez said.
An eyewitness to the aftermath of the crash outside the school, Eduardo Trinidad, told the local outlet KPRC-2 that the vehicle went through a barricade and into a concrete ditch.
Olivarez said the Uvalde Police Department then "received a call of a crashed vehicle and an individual armed with a weapon making his way into the school."
Police said Thursday that he "walked in unobstructed initially," as a school police officer accidentally confronted a teacher instead of the gunman.
"At that point we had local law enforcement, school officers, as well as state troopers who were first on scene and who were able to hear the actual gunshots inside the classroom," Olivarez said.
Olivarez said officers then began "breaking windows around the school trying to evacuate children, teachers, anybody that they could trying to get them out of that building, out of that school."
The shooter — who officials say acted alone — used a long rifle in the attack and was wearing a tactical vest, Olivarez said Wednesday.
All victims of the school shooting were in the same classroom
The gunman "barricaded" himself inside a single classroom in the school where he carried out the carnage, said Olivarez.
"The shooter was able to make entry into a classroom, barricaded himself inside that classroom and again just began shooting numerous children and teachers that were in that classroom, having no regard for human life," Olivarez said during an interview on the "Today" show.
The Texas law enforcement official called the gunman "just a complete evil person by not having any regard for children, anyone that was inside that classroom."
The gunman "just began shooting anyone that was in his way," Olivarez said.
Texas police said during a press conference Thursday that the gunman was not confronted by a school district police officer prior to the shooting, disputing previous reports.
"It was reported that a school district police officer confronted the suspect. That's not accurate," Victor Escalon, the South Texas regional director for the state Department of Public Safety, said. "[The gunman] walked in unobstructed initially."
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said during a press conference Wednesday that roughly 40 minutes to an hour passed between the time the shooter entered the premises and when he was shot and killed by a US Border Patrol agent.
All of the victims were inside the same fourth-grade classroom, Olivarez told CNN.
"At that point, we had a tactical law enforcement team arrive made up of multiple federal officers, local officers as well as state troopers, that were able to make forcible entry into that classroom," Olivarez said on the "Today" show.
"They were met with gunfire as well, but they were able to shoot and kill that suspect," he said. "And without hesitation tried to make entry into that school, but at that point, they were at a point of disadvantage because the suspect, the shooter, had barricaded himself inside that classroom."
On Friday, federal law enforcement officials said federal agents eventually disregarded local law enforcement directives and entered the school to kill the gunman.
Shooter bought weapons shortly after turning 18
Officials said they recovered two AR-15-style rifles from the scene at the elementary school, The Houston Chronicle reported. Rob Elgas, a reporter with ABC7 Chicago, also tweeted that authorities recovered an "AR-15 style rifle" and "numerous magazines" at the scene.
Authorities said the gunman bought two weapons shortly after turning 18.
Authorities and state Sen. John Whitmire said the gunman had purchased one of the rifles recovered from the shooting from a licensed gun store on May 17, the day after his 18th birthday, The Chronicle reported.
The following day, May 18, the gunman purchased 375 rounds of ammunition, and two days later, on May 20, he purchased a second rifle, the Chronicle reported.
State Sen. Roland Gutierrez also said the shooter had earlier hinted on social media about a forthcoming attack, The Associated Press reported. He "suggested the kids should watch out," Gutierrez said, according to the AP.
Shooter is said to have troubled childhood
The Washington Post reported that the gunman was described as having a troubled childhood and home life and had moved in with his grandmother.
Before that, he had "a pretty rough life with his mom," a former neighbor, Ruben Flores, told the paper.
An 18-year-old former friend of the shooter, Santos Valdez Jr., told The Post that they had exchanged brief messages about high school roughly two hours before the shooting.
Juan Alvarez, who is the gunman's mother's partner, told NBC News that the teen had moved out of his mother's home after his mother disconnected his Wi-Fi. The pair got into a heated argument, Alvarez said, and then the gunman moved in with his grandmother.
"I don't know what he was thinking. He had his reasons for doing what he did and please don't judge him. I only want the innocent children who died to forgive me," the gunman's mother, Adriana Martinez, told CNN.
His father, Salvador Ramos, 42, told The Daily Beast that he "never expected" his son to commit such a crime, and did not know how his son turned violent. He added that he had not seen his son for a month when the younger man cut off contact with him. He described their difficult relationship.
"My mom (the gunman's grandmother) tells me he probably would have shot me too, because he would always say I didn't love him," he told The Daily Beast.
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