The 18-year-old gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School Tuesday, said he intended to kill his grandma and carry out a mass shooting in a Facebook post.
The horrific details emerged during a press conference Wednesday with Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX). The governor said it was important to set the record straight as Texas Rangers try to figure out what made the gunman pull the trigger.
"Just days before yesterday, when these children were at school, some were receiving awards for perfect attendance," said Abbott. "These kids will never attend school again."
Uvalde, Texas, which has a population of 16,000, is now ground zero for the country's 212th mass shooting this year. The incident is the second-largest grade school shooting, behind the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that killed 26.
Investigators say the tragedy started Tuesday morning with the gunman's grandmother. Salvador Ramos shot her in the face at their home, leaving her in critical condition.
Ramos, who didn't know how to drive, took off in a truck before crashing in a culvert nearby Robb Elementary School. The school teaches 4th, 5th, and 6th grade children.
"Children are a blessing," said Gov. Abbott. "God teaches us that. They're filled with laughter, innocence and joy. Their love is a gift that parents get to unwrap every single day. Parents in Uvalde had that taken away from them. Stolen by a demented person."
The governor went on to clarify the facts about what took place on Tuesday.
After Ramos shot his grandmother, she contacted the police. Following the wreckage, he was approached by an officer with the Consolidated Independent School District.
There was an exchange of gunfire before Ramos entered Robb Elementary School through an open backdoor.
"The gunman went through two short hallways and then into a classroom on the left-hand side," Abbott said. "The classroom was connected internally to another classroom."
Ramos barricaded himself inside the interconnected 4th grade classroom and began shooting, killing 19 children and two teachers.
Gov. Abbott says the mass shooting came to an end when police officers converged on the classroom.
An unnamed border patrol officer killed the gunman. Abbott praised law enforcement officials for doing their job, saying, "it could have been far worse."
Ramos was a Uvalde High School dropout with no known mental health or criminal history. He legally purchased two assault rifles shortly after his 18th birthday. The only indication that he was capable of this tragedy was found on Facebook.
"The only information that was known in advance was posted by the gunman on Facebook approximately 30 minutes before reaching the school," said Gov. Abbott. "The first post said, 'I'm going to shoot my grandmother.' The second post was, 'I shot my grandmother.' The third post, less than 15-minutes before arriving at the school was, 'I'm going to shoot an elementary school.'"
A deputy sheriff was among those to lose a child during a shooting. Over a dozen were injured, including three officers.
"Evil swept across Uvalde, TX," said Gov. Abbott. "Anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face has evil in his heart. But it is far more evil to gun down little kids."
President Joe Biden addressed the nation Tuesday night to offer his condolences and prayers for the families of the victims.
"May the Lord be near the brokenhearted and save those crushed in spirit 'cause they're gonna need a lot of help and a lot of our prayers," the president said.
He also urged lawmakers to act now to prevent the next mass shooting attack.
"It's time to turn this pain into action," he said. "As a nation, we have to ask, 'When in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God's name will we do what we know in our gut needs to be done?"
Former White House Deputy Press Secretary J. Hogan Gidley tweeted, "Folks…America can't fill a God-sized hole with a government-sized peg."
America can’t fill a God-sized hole with a government-sized peg.
— J. Hogan Gidley (@JHoganGidley) May 25, 2022