The 18-year-old who killed 19 children in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday was a high school senior who had a turbulent home life, seemed to have few friends and by some accounts was bullied by other students, according to law enforcement officials and acquaintances.
The gunman often fought with his mother, his mother’s boyfriend, 62-year-old Juan Alvarez, told NBC. The teen left the house in Uvalde two months ago after a bad argument when she disconnected their Wi-Fi, Alvarez said. He went to stay with his grandmother.
“He was kind of a weird one,” Alvarez said. “I never got along with him. I never socialized with him. He doesn’t talk to nobody. When you try to talk to him he’d just sit there and walk away.”
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A neighbor, 54-year-old Becky Flores, who was the shooter’s Head Start teacher, told NBC that eight police officers came to the house the day the young man left for his grandmother’s.
The day of the attack on the school, Salvador Rolando Ramos shot his grandmother in the face, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, then left for Robb Elementary School, where he also killed two teachers.
He used an AR-15 style rifle in the massacre at the school. He had bought two such rifles soon after his 18th birthday, state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat from San Antonio, said. A law enforcement team broke into the classroom where he had barricaded himself and was firing at children and teachers and killed him, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The young man’s grandfather, Rolando Reyes, lived in the home with the grandmother and told The Associated Press that he did not know his grandson had guns in the house.
Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the shooter had no criminal history as an adult. He said law enforcement officials were having trouble finding friends of the young man. The Washington Post and The New York Times both talked to acquaintances who said he had been bullied growing up.
He attended Uvalde High School. On an Instagram account he posted photos of himself and two rifles.
About 30 minutes before the attack, he messaged that he was going to shoot his grandmother, then that he had shot her and finally that he was going to shoot up an elementary school.