The teenage gunman who massacred 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas warned in online messages sent minutes before the attack that he had shot his grandmother and was “going to shoot up a school”.
Salvador Ramos used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle in the bloodshed Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, which ended when police stormed a classroom and killed him. He legally bought the rifle and a second one like it last week just after he turned 18 on May 16, authorities said.
Investigators shed no light on the motive for the attack, which also left at least 17 people wounded. Ramos, who was born in North Dakota, was a resident of the small town about 85 miles west of San Antonio, and had no known criminal or mental health history. But the lack of proper gun laws in Texas is at the heart of the tragedy, and Beto O’Rourke knows it.
This thread will be dedicated to the victims of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
As a parent, my heart is broken seeing these faces and their ages.
My condolences to their families during this difficult time 🙏🏻
Xavier Lopez, 10. He was a 4th grader at Robb Elementary. pic.twitter.com/261cSEBFZ3
— Natasha ⚯͛ (@ndelriego) May 25, 2022
O’Rourke is challenging Texas Governor Greg Abbott in November and crashed his news conference about the massacre, saying the response to the shooting from Abbott and other Texas leaders was “totally predictable,” and did nothing to solve the problem of easy access to guns that is plaguing communities across Texas and the nation. Several attendees on the stage, including Sen. Ted Cruz, began yelling back, telling O’Rourke to sit down, that he was “pathetic,” and that this was no place for politics. Meanwhile, Cruz and Abbott are both scheduled to speak at this weekend’s NRA convention, and Cruz had already used the shooting as a media opportunity for himself.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) May 25, 2022
After he was removed by security, O’Rourke held an impromptu press conference outside, where he continued railing against Abbott’s record. “He’s refused to expand Medicaid, which would bring $10 billion a year, including mental health care access for people who need it,” O’Rourke fumed. “He’s refused to champion red flag laws. … He’s refused to support safe-storage laws so young people cannot get their hands on their parents’ weapons.” O’Rourke angrily spoke of the gunman “who just turned 18, bought an AR-15 and took it into an elementary school and shot kids in the face and killed them.”
— Tara Dublin 🇺🇦🌻 (@taradublinrocks) May 25, 2022