Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the US teen gunman who killed at least 19 children and two adults prematurely warned in a private message on a social network that he was about to shoot an elementary school. Was.
Abbott described Salvador Ramos as an 18-year-old high school dropout. The governor blamed mental health issues for Ramos’ attack on Robb Elementary School in the small town of Uvalde, Texas. Ramos is shot dead by a US Border Patrol agent, ending his anger.
But Abbott said officials had not discovered any officially registered mental health care concerns about Ramos, although news outlets reported that on occasion Ramos randomly fired BB guns at people in the streets of Uvalde. were fired and eggs were thrown at the cars. Acquaintances said he was upset that he didn’t complete enough classes to graduate with his classmates this week.
Abbott said that 30 minutes before Ramos barged into the school, he posted a message on Facebook saying, “I’m going to shoot my grandmother,” with whom he lived, and a face on his face. Shot fired. The 66-year-old woman, Celia Martinez, survived the attack and was hospitalized, but her condition was stated to be critical.
Moments later, he said in another message, “I shot my grandmother.”
Then, in a third message, Ramos warned, “I’m going to do an elementary school shooting,” Abbott reported.
A Facebook spokesperson clarified that the text messages were sent to one person, but would not disclose which Facebook platform the gunman used.
When Ramos drove his car into a ditch near the school, police officers employed by the school district were “engaged with the gunman”, although no bullets were exchanged. A law enforcement officer told Nation World News that Ramos attacked the school and killed all of his victims in the same fourth-grade classroom.
Abbott said 17 others were injured in the scuffle, but none of them were in danger.
The issue of gun control and sales is one of the most controversial issues in American politics, and Abbott’s news conference was no exception. As governor, a gun rights advocate, finished speaking, his Democratic gubernatorial opponent Beto O’Rourke in November’s election shouted at him, “You’re doing nothing!” To stop gun violence.
“Abbott made it easy to carry guns in public,” O’Rourke said on Twitter. “The moment to stop the next slaughter is now.”
In the aftermath of the country’s latest mass murder, gun rights advocates and gun control advocates alike condemned Tuesday’s devastation.
President Joe Biden offered condolences to the families of the victims in an emotional address at the White House late Tuesday, while questioning why mass shootings are so common in the US and urging lawmakers to support “common sense gun legislation.” .
“I’m sick and tired,” he said. “We have to act.”
“Why are we willing to live with this carnage?” He asked. “Why do we let this happen? Where is our backbone in God’s name? When will we stand in front of the gun lobby in God’s name?”
It was not immediately clear whether the latest mass killing changed the minds of any opposition Republican lawmakers in the Senate, who in the past have blocked restrictive gun measures backed by Biden and Democratic senators.
Passing restrictive gun control legislation would require at least 10 Republican lawmakers to join all 50 Democrats in the chamber.
Some lawmakers talked about trying to reach legislative agreements that would require background checks of gun buyers, extend the time limit for such checks, or ban the sale of guns on the Internet.
The US banned the sale of assault weapons, often used in mass killings and deployed by the gunman in Tuesday’s attack, from 1994 to 2004, according to police. Congress then failed to renew the law.
Legislative efforts to tighten gun laws have been strongly opposed by lobbyists for gun manufacturers and pro-gun lawmakers, who cite Americans’ rights to gun ownership enshrined in the US Constitution.
Biden said he learned about the shooting when he was returning from a trip to Asia.
“What surprised me was that this type of mass shooting is rare anywhere else in the world,” Biden said. “Why? They have mental health problems. They have domestic disputes in other countries. They have people who are lost. But this type of mass shooting never happens with the same frequency as it does in America.” . why?”
He then called on MPs to stand in front of the gun lobby.
Lidia Martínez Delgado wrote on Facebook that her niece, Eva Miralles, was a school teacher and was among those killed.
“I am outraged that this shooting continues,” Martínez Delgado said in a statement. “These kids are innocent. The rifle should not be readily available to everyone. This is my hometown, a small community of less than 20,000. I never thought this would happen especially with loved ones.”
The school district’s superintendent, Hal Harrell, told reporters that bereavement counseling services were being provided for students and that the remaining few days of the school year had been canceled.
“My heart is broken today,” Harrell said. “We are a small community, and we will need your prayers to get through this.”
Tuesday’s attack was the deadliest school shooting in Texas and the deadliest elementary school shooting since the 2012 attack on Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, which killed 26 people, 20 of them school children.
Law enforcement officials say Ramos legally purchased two assault weapons with 375 rounds of ammunition a few weeks ago, days after his 18th birthday. He posted pictures of the weapons on his social media account named after him.
Several political figures condemned the shootings, including US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who called Tuesday “a dark day”.
Both Abbott and Cruz were among a group of Republican figures, including former President Donald Trump, who were scheduled to appear in Houston on Friday at the annual convention of the National Rifle Association, a gun rights group that advocated gun control measures. has opposed.
According to Brady United, a nonprofit advocating for gun control, Cruz has also received $176,274 in campaign contributions from the NRA.
Texas Elementary School enrolls approximately 600 students in second, third, and fourth grades and sits in a mostly residential neighborhood of modest homes. The city has a population of about 16,000 people and is the seat of government for Uvalde County. It is about 135 kilometers west of San Antonio and about 120 kilometers north of the border with Mexico.
Texas has been the scene of several mass shootings over the past five years. A year before the Santa Fe school shootings in 2018, a gunman at a Texas church killed more than two dozen people during a Sunday service in the small town of Sutherland Springs. In 2019, another gunman killed 23 people in a racist attack at a Walmart in El Paso.
Some information for this report has been received from The Associated Press and Reuters.