'Bullied' Texas school gunman Salvador Ramos 'bought guns for his 18th birthday'

25 May 2022, 08:44 | Updated: 25 May 2022, 10:38

Salvador Ramos shot dead 19 children at a school in Texas after revealing his plans in chilling Instagram posts
Salvador Ramos shot dead 19 children at a school in Texas after revealing his plans in chilling Instagram posts. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

A former classmate of Texas school gunman Salvador Ramos has said he was bullied at school because of his clothes and that his family was poor.

The classmate, who asked not to be named, told CNN he and Ramos, 18, had been friends at one point and had played Xbox together, but that Ramos dropped out of school after being bullied.

He said he had started showing up at class less and less as he was being bullied over his clothes and his family’s finances.

“He just like, slowly dropped out,” his friend told CNN.

Four days prior to the shooting, Ramos reportedly sent his friend a picture of an automatic weapon and a backpack full of 5.56 rounds. 

Read more: First victims pictured in Texas primary school shooting that killed 19 kids and 2 teachers

'[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."' 

He had reportedly bought two rifles on his 18th birthday. Under a new law in Texas passed in September, people aged 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 licences.

Ramos posted images of the weapons he bough on Instagram
Ramos posted images of the weapons he bough on Instagram. Picture: Social Media

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.

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'd 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?"

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 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."

Ramos was shot and killed by police at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas after killing 21 people.

The names of victims were emerging today as devastated families paid tribute.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Ramos horrifically and incomprehensibly" killed 21 people at Robb Elementary School in the city of Uvalde on Tuesday afternoon.

The Governor said Ramos, who was shot by police, abandoned his vehicle and went into the school armed with a pistol and possibly a rifle.

"My heart is broken today," said Hal Harrell, the school district superintendent, announcing that all school activities were cancelled until further notice.

"We're a small community and we're going to need you prayers to get through this."