UVALDE, Texas (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott and public safety officials released more details about the investigation into Tuesday’s elementary school shooting, saying the shooter posted on Facebook just 30 minutes before the attack.
The shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde left at least 19 students and two adults dead. Authorities have yet to officially release the names of the victims, but families are coming forward to identify their loved ones.
The shooter, whom Abbott identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, is also dead. The governor said he was killed by responding officers.
Ramos legally purchased two AR-type rifles shortly after his 18th birthday in March, along with 375 rounds. Abbott said Wednesday that only one of the guns was used in the shooting.
Before the shooting at Robb Elementary, Abbott said Wednesday that Ramos shot his grandmother, who he lived with, before entering the school.
The governor also said the shooter sent a series of messages on Facebook, beginning just 30 minutes before Ramos arrived at elementary school:
- First post: “I’m going to shoot my grandmother”
- Second post: “I shot my grandmother”
- Third message: “I’m going to shoot a primary school”
After the grandmother was shot, Abbott said she was able to get help and contact the police.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said Ramos fled that scene in the grandmother’s vehicle and crashed outside the school. He got out of the car with a backpack and a gun and headed for the campus backdoor.
McCraw said a school district police officer approached him, but no shots were exchanged at this point. Ramos then did it inside the school.
The governor said he walked through two hallways before entering a classroom, which was connected to a second classroom. This is where filming began, McCraw said.
Law enforcement then converged on the classroom, Abbott said, and killed Ramos.
The shooting began around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo said. The whole neighborhood was put on lockdown. Around 12:15 p.m., the CISD of Uvalde posted on the active shooter at Robb Elementary School on social networks.
Abbott said Ramos had no known history of mental health. The governor said in a discussion with law enforcement, city officials and state leaders, they all said, “We have a mental illness problem in this community.”
“There is an urgent need for everyone affected to have access to mental health,” Abbott said.
Leaders alongside Abbott have emphasized mental health and the need for families, community and law enforcement to heal.
“Your mental health is like any other health, it needs to be treated, it needs to be diagnosed, it needs to be talked about, and the legislature when we meet again we will have a long and very vigorous discussion on mental health. as we always have. We will continue to support mental health in this state and especially rural mental health,” said President Dade Phelan.
Abbott provided a number for the District Attorney’s Office Victim Services for those affected by the tragedy: (830) 278-2916.
“I have worked for this district for 30 years. I never thought I would be sitting in front of you doing this today. But please pray for our teachers, pray for our community and we will move forward,” said Hal Harrell, Superintendent of CISD Uvalde.
Abbott said Tuesday that CISD Uvalde police were the primary investigative agency, but state resources were being offered to help.
“All Texans are in mourning with the people of Uvalde, and people are rightly angry about what happened,” Abbott said Wednesday.
The shooting took place just two days before the last day of the school year, according to the calendar of the CISD of Uvalde.
“My heart is broken today,” Uvalde CISD Superintendent Hal Harrell said Tuesday evening. “We are a small community and we need your prayers to help us get through this.”
Abbott was joined by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, President Dade Phelan, and U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, along with other state and local officials. The press conference took place at 12.30 p.m. at the Lycée Uvalde.