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“He should have killed me”

Roger Sollenberger

HONDO, Texas—The father of the 18-year-old shooter who killed 21 people at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, wants the world to know he’s sorry this week.

In an interview with The Daily Beast on Thursday, Salvador Ramos said: “I just want people to know that I’m sorry man, [for] what my son did.

“I didn’t expect my son to do something like this,” Ramos, 42, added. “He should have killed me, you know, instead of doing something like that to someone.”

Her son, also called Salvador, shot his grandmother in the face on Tuesday and drove off with his car, before rolling the truck into a ditch outside Robb Elementary and opening fire on a class of fourth year. The teenager was shot on the spot.

It is the deadliest school shooting in the United States in nearly a decade.

Young Ramos reportedly had a bad relationship with his mother and dropped out of secondary school before he graduated this year. His father admitted he hadn’t spent much time with him lately because he was employed outside Uvalde – he digs holes around power 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 became frustrated with COVID precautions about a month ago and refused to talk to him.

Ramos hasn’t seen him since.

“I will never see my son again,” he said.

The Daily Beast spoke to Ramos on the porch of his girlfriend’s house in Hondo, about 40 miles east of Uvalde, where he has lived for several years. The house and bushes outside were adorned with blue and white streamers for a senior graduate.

Despite the horrific massacre he committed on Tuesday, Ramos insisted his son was “a good person”.

“He dropped out because he said they bullied him at school because of his clothes,” he said. “He was a calm person, stuck to himself. He didn’t bother anyone. People always bothered him.

—with reporting by Emily Shugerman and William Bredderman

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