Texas shooting: Gunman posted warnings on Facebook just minutes before shooting
"I shot my grandmother."
The gunman who killed 19 pupils and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas posted a series of messages on Facebook warning what he was about to do.
On Tuesday morning, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos shot his grandmother in the face before taking her car to drive to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde with a rifle.
He then opened fire on classrooms and killed 19 children and two teachers, before he was killed by police.
Ramos' grandmother, 66, is said to be in a critical condition after being transported to a hospital in San Antonio.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Ramos wrote three messages online in which he clearly stated what he was about to do.
Abbott said the first message read: “I’m going to shoot my grandmother,” and was sent around 30 minutes before Ramos' horrific attack at the school."
He followed this with another message shortly after in which he wrote, “I shot my grandmother”.
The final message from Ramos read “I’m going to shoot an elementary school.” He sent this just 15 minutes before opening fire on classrooms.
The governor labelled the messages the only "meaningful forewarning" the gunman gave ahead of the attack.
Facebook has said the posts were "private one-to-one text messages that were discovered after the terrible tragedy occurred," and that the company is "closely cooperating with law enforcement".
The messages Gov. Abbott described were private one-to-one text messages that were discovered after the terrible tragedy occurred. We are closely cooperating with law enforcement in their ongoing investigation.
— Andy Stone (@andymstone) May 25, 2022
CNN reports that the 18-year-old sent the messages to a 15-year-old girl in Frankfurt who he had met online.
On Wednesday, it was also revealed that Ramos had sent messages to a woman on Instagram in the days and hours before the attack, in which he alluded to what he was going to do.
During Abbott's press conference, there was a dramatic moment as Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic candidate running against him for governor of Texas, stood up and interrupted the conference.
He accused Republicans of "doing nothing" to address gun violence, and was escorted from the premises.
Beto O’Rourke, who is running for governor of Texas, interrupted a news conference hosted by Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday and accused Republicans of "doing nothing" to address gun violence in the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting. https://t.co/SyMyQbynnA pic.twitter.com/vf2hTzzgOF
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 25, 2022
This follows an emotional plea from Democrat Chris Murphy on the Senate floor in the hours following the shooting, in which he 'begged' his Republican colleagues to do something about gun violence in the country.
Senator Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT): "The 14 kids dead in an elementary school in Texas right now. What are we doing? What are we doing? Just days after a shooter walked into a grocery store to gun down African American patrons we have another Sandy Hook on our hands." pic.twitter.com/IALrVON2mV
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 24, 2022
The attack is the deadliest mass shooting at an elementary school since a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 first-graders, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
But Abbott repeatedly cited mental health during the conference, telling reporters: "The ability of an 18-year-old to buy a long gun has been in place in the state of Texas for more than 60 years. And think about during the time, over the course of that 60 years, we have not had episodes like this."
Texas has experienced 244 mass shootings (those with four or more victims) since 2014.