Minutes before the mass shooting, Ramos allegedly sent a series of text messages to a teen girl in Europe whom he had met online, describing how he had just shot his grandmother and would “shoot up a(n) elementary school.”
According to screenshots reviewed by CNN and an interview with the girl, whose mother gave permission for her to be interviewed, Ramos complained about his grandmother being “on the phone with AT&T abojt (sic) my phone.”
“It’s annoying,” he texted.
Six minutes later, he texted: “I just shot my grandma in her head.”
Seconds later, he said, “Ima go shoot up a(n) elementary school rn (right now).”
The 15-year-old girl, who lives in Frankfurt, Germany, said she began chatting with Ramos on a social media app on May 9.
She said Ramos told her on Monday that he received a package of ammunition. She said he told her that the bullets would expand when they struck somebody.
At some point, the girl asked what he planned to do. She said he told her it was a surprise and to “just wait for it.”
On Tuesday, at 11:01 a.m. CT, Ramos called and told her he loved her, she said. Then, about 20 minutes later, he texted her that he had shot his grandmother.
As of Wednesday, the shooter’s 66-year-old grandmother was in serious condition at a San Antonio hospital, officials said.
The shooter crashed his vehicle before the massacre
It’s not clear why Ramos decided to target Robb Elementary — a school that had 535 students in grades 2 through 4 as of last school year.
But before he entered the school, his vehicle crashed into a nearby ditch, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Sgt. Erick Estrada said. The cause of the crash was not clear.
Ramos got out of the vehicle wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a rifle, the sergeant said.
How the school shooting unfolded
The gunman encountered a school district police officer, who wasn’t able to stop him, Estrada said.
“He was engaged by an Uvalde ISD police officer who works here at the school. And then after that, he was engaged by two other officers from the Uvalde Police Department,” Estrada said.
Officials haven’t made clear how Ramos managed to get past the officers and open fire in adjacent classrooms.
While “engaged” with the school officer, the gunman dropped a black bag full of ammunition outside of the school, Estrada told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“Inside that bag was actually more ammunition. He actually dropped that ammunition and ran inside the school where he barricaded himself inside one of the classrooms and, unfortunately, that is where he started conducting his business of shooting innocent children, shooting the two innocent adults that were inside that classroom,” he said.
DPS is still investigating what happened during that interaction, but during a news conference, Director Steven McGraw said that no shots were fired.
More than 100 federal officers responded to Tuesday’s deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, according to Customs and Border Patrol.
“When it was all said and done, we had over 80 officers immediately on the scene, and then right after that, 150 or so officers converged on this area,” CBP Chief Raul Ortiz told CNN on Wednesday.
Ortiz said those officers came from several divisions, including the Border Patrol, Air and Marine Operations and Homeland Security Investigations.
“Risking their own lives, these Border Patrol Agents and other officers put themselves between the shooter and children on the scene to draw the shooter’s attention away from potential victims and save lives,” she wrote.
Eventually, a tactical agency “was able to eliminate the threat and bring the suspect down,” Estrada said.
What we know about the victims
“We see people coming out just terrorized. They’re crying one by one. They’re being told that their child has passed on,” said state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who was at the civic center Tuesday.
Outside, a father who had just learned his child was killed fought tears as he was embraced by his cousins, CNN’s Nicole Chavez reported.
A few yards away, a grandmother arrived from San Antonio. She said she would not stop praying for her 10-year-old granddaughter as they waited for the identification results from the DNA swabs.
By Wednesday morning, several families confirmed they had received devastating news.
“He really couldn’t wait to go to middle school,” she said.
Amerie Jo Garza’s father Angel spent seven hours searching for his 10-year-old daughter. He eventually learned Amerie Jo was among the children killed.
“Please don’t take a second for granted,” Garza posted on Facebook. “Hug your family. Tell them you love them.”
10-year-old Eliahana ‘Elijah’ Cruz Torres was also one of the victims, her aunt Leandra Vera told CNN. “Our baby gained her wings,” she said.
“My precious angel you are loved so deeply. In my eyes you are not a victim but a survivor. I love you always and past forever baby sister, may your wings soar higher then you could ever dream,” Faith Mata wrote on Twitter.
Tess was a fourth-grader who loved TikTok dances, Ariana Grande and the Houston Astros, Faith Mata told the Post. Tess was saving money for a family trip to Disney World.
As of Wednesday, six victims remained hospitalized, four of whom — including the gunman’s grandmother — are at University Hospital in San Antonio, according to the hospital.
Two 10-year-old girls are among those in the hospital — one of whom in serious condition and the other in good condition, the hospital said. A 9-year-old child at the hospital is also in good condition.
The bodies of nine victims were planned to released to funeral homes Wednesday evening, Judge Lalo Diaz told CNN. The remaining 12 will be released by Thursday, Diaz said.
What we know about the shooter
The gunman was a student at Uvalde High School, officials said.
Three days before the shooting, a photo of two AR-15-style rifles appeared on an Instagram account tied to Ramos.
One of Ramos’ former classmates, who didn’t want to be identified, told CNN that Ramos recently sent him a photo showing an AR-15, a backpack with rounds of ammunition and several gun magazines.
“I was like, ‘Bro, why do you have this?’ and he was like, ‘Don’t worry about it,'” the friend said.
“He proceeded to text me, ‘I look very different now. You wouldn’t recognize me,'” the friend added.
The friend said Ramos had stopped attending school regularly.
Ramos worked at a local Wendy’s, the restaurant’s manager told CNN.
Evening manager Adrian Mendes said Ramos “kept to himself mostly” and “didn’t really socialize with the other employees. … He just worked, got paid, and came in to get his check.”
The teen girl in Germany who said she and Ramos had communicated for weeks said Ramos told her he spent a lot of time alone at home.
“Every time I talked to him,” she said, “he never had plans with his friends.”
CNN’s Isabelle Chapman, Daniel A. Medina, Paradise Afshar, Curt Devine, Jeff Winter, Evan Perez, Andy Rose, Priscilla Alvarez, Jamiel Lynch, Donie O’Sullivan, Jose Lesh, Amanda Jackson, David Williams, Sara Smart, Amanda Watts, Chris Boyette, Joe Sutton, Joseph Bonheim and Jennifer Henderson contributed to this report.