Elementary school shooter Salvador Ramos began his massacre by shooting his grandmother because he was enraged over his failure to graduate high school this week, according to a neighbor.
Classmates of the 18-year-old—who murdered at least 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday morning—are due to attend their graduation ceremony on Friday (May 27).
Ramos’ fury over his lack of academic success sparked a fight with his grandmother shortly before he shot her and drove to Robb Elementary School to embark on his killing spree in Uvalde, Texas, the neighbor claims.
The man was not interviewed on camera, but reporter John Mone, of local news channel Newsy, revealed he had spoken to a resident he named as Eduardo Trinidad, who was described as a family friend and neighbor.
He said: “I spoke with a man across the way here. He says he knows this suspect’s grandmother, who police say he shot. He said he knew her from family connections.
“He described a scene in which this young man, 18 years old, was reportedly—according to this neighbor, his name is Eduardo, I just spoke with Eduardo Trinidad—he said that the suspect was angry he did not graduate.
“And he got into an argument with the grandmother and she was screaming, ‘He shot me! He shot me!’ and then he got in the car, zoomed down the street, there was some kind of crash according to Mr. Trinidad. The suspect got out, he had two weapons, and then started engaging gunfire. From that point on, apparently, according to Mr. Trinidad, the suspect walks into the school and unfortunately the rest is history.”
Ramos’ grandmother remains in a critical condition in hospital, Sgt. Erick Estrada, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told CNN on Tuesday night.
Her grandson is said to have had few friends and had reportedly been posting photos online of the guns he’d bought for his 18th birthday to brag about the weapons and apparently hint at what was to come.
Ramos was a student at Uvalde High School. The home page of the website for his school currently features the smiling photos of its top 10 students of the Class of 2022.
A document detailing all aspects of the graduation ceremony, which is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Friday reads: “We are excited to share one of the greatest days in a young person’s life with you, your families, friends, and relatives.”
It also reveals all guests must undergo security screening, including a bag check and walk-through metal detecting machines, before being allowed access to the event, and adds “weapons (guns, pepper spray, fireworks, etc.) are ‘prohibited items.'”
Ramos’ massacre was the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012.