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Warped mass murderer Salvador Ramos was a failing high school loner with an ‘aggressive streak’, who was bullied for being poor and mocked for wearing eyeliner.
That is how former classmates and colleagues have described the killer, 18, who slaughtered at least 19 innocent children in the second deadliest school shooting in American history in Uvdale, Texas on Tuesday.
Described by one pupil as an ’emo’, his lisp also made him a target, according to the Washington Post, with classmates claiming he endured gay slurs. Another said he was mocked for his clothing.
A former classmate, who asked not to be identified, told CNN he and Ramos were somewhat ‘close’ and used to play Xbox together. The killer was a fan of the shooting and combat game Call of Duty.
While the motive for the massacre is not yet known, one neighbor told local news channel Newsy that he witnessed Ramos, who worked at a Wendy’s, arguing with his grandmother, claiming he was ‘angry that he did not graduate’.
He said the grandmother then screamed: ‘He shot me, he shot me’, before Ramos ‘zoomed down the street’ and crashed his car, before exiting his vehicle and embarking on his killing spree, which also counted two much-loved teachers.
According to the Post, the shooting took place the day after his classmates had graduated. State police said his grandmother had died from her injuries.
Meanwhile, his Wendy’s co-workers told the Daily Beast that he had an ‘aggressive streak’ and would send inappropriate messages to female employees. They also branded him ‘quiet’ and ‘anti-social’.
One said: ‘He would be very rude towards the girls sometimes, and one of the cooks, threatening them by asking, ‘Do you know who I am?’
‘And he would also send inappropriate texts to the ladies.’
The same source claimed there were multiple videos of Ramos fighting people with boxing gloves at a local park.
‘He’d take them around with him,’ they claimed.
In the hours leading up to the killings, the shooter reportedly showed off his guns to a girl via his Instagram page, taunting that he was ‘about to do’ something.
When the woman asked what, he said: ‘I’ll tell you before 11.’ He began shooting at noon.
‘As soon as he made entry into the school he started shooting children, teachers, whoever was in his way, he was shooting everybody,’ Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Lt. Chris Olivarez said.
Speaking anonymously, one classmate said Ramos had begun showing up to class less and less as other kids bullied him over his clothes and his family’s financial situation.
‘He would, like, not go to school…and he just, like, slowly dropped out. He barely came to school,’ the friend said.
Salvador Ramos, 18, was reportedly bullied at school for his clothing and because his family was poor, a ‘close’ friend said
Four days before the shooting, Ramos reportedly sent his friend pictures of his guns and ammunition. When asked why he had it, Ramos allegedly replied: ‘Don’t worry about it’
After the North Dakota native graduated from high school, the friend said they became even more distant from each other, but would occasionally message each other on Xbox.
‘He would message me here and there,’ he said.
Four days prior to Tuesday’s shooting, Ramos reportedly sent his friend a picture of the AR and a backpack full of 5.56 rounds.
‘[He had] probably like seven [magazines],’ he said. ‘I was like: ‘Bro, why do you have this?’ and he was like: ‘Don’t worry about it.”
The school shooter – who originates from North Dakota and had recently moved to Texas – had reportedly bought two rifles on his 18th birthday, which was days ago, the Daily Beast reported.
Under a new Texan law passed in September, those aged 18-21 could buy guns if they had a protective order, because they were at risk of family violence, stalking, prostitution or sex trafficking.
The law also removed the requirement for a permit for a handgun. Rifles were already permitted in Texas without licenses.
In the days leading up to the massacre, Ramos told his friend that he ‘looked very different now.’
‘You wouldn’t recognize me,’ he messaged less than a week ago.
Ramos’s social media was full of photos of his new guns, which he bought on his 18th birthday, state senator Roland Gutierrez said.
Ramos also messaged a Los Angeles-based woman on May 12 on Instagram, tagging her in a photo of the guns.
‘You gonna repost my gun pics,’ @sal8dor_ direct messaged her.
His social media was filled with new rifles, which he purchased on his 18th birthday
He killed 19 kids and two adults at an elementary Robb Elementary School on Tuesday
‘What your guns gotta do with me,’ [sic] she replied on Friday.
‘Just wanted to tag you,’ he said back.
Then at 5:43am on Tuesday, @salv8dor_ messaged her and said: ‘I’m about to’.
The girl asked ‘about to what’ to which he answered: ‘I’ll tell you before 11.’
He said he would text her in an hour and urged her to respond.
‘I got a lil secret I wanna tell u,’ he messaged with a smiley face emoji covering its mouth.
‘Be grateful I tagged you,’ he wrote.
She replied: ‘No it’s just scary,’ adding: ‘I barely know you and you tag me in a picture with some guns?’
His last message at 9:16am on Tuesday was ‘Ima air out’.
The shooting started around 11:32am. The woman reacted with horror when she learnt what he had done.
‘He’s a stranger I know nothing about him he decided to tag me in his gun post,’ she wrote.
‘I’m so sorry for the victims and their families I really don’t know what to say.’
She then added: ‘The only reason I responded to him was because I was afraid of him I wish I stayed awake to at least try to convince him to not commit his crime. I didn’t know.’
When an Instagram user asked if she was his girlfriend, she replied: ‘I don’t know him and I don’t even live in Texas.’
He largely dropped out, and took the job at Wendy’s, where co-workers remember him as quiet.
Adrian Mendes, evening manager at the Wendy’s, said Ramos ‘kept to himself mostly.’
‘He felt like the quiet type, the one who doesn’t say much. He didn’t really socialize with the other employees,’ Mendes told CNN.
‘He just worked, got paid, and came in to get his check.’
Mendes said that he did not know Ramos well – he was already employed when Mendes began in February – and didn’t see him most of the time because they were on different shifts.
Ramos worked from 11am to 4pm or 5pm, five days a week.
Ramos was shot and killed by law enforcement at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, after he had murdered 21 people.