Before slaughtering 19 children and two teachers in a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, the 18-year-old shooter posted his objective on Facebook, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Approximately 30 minutes before the school massacre Salvador Ramos wrote, “I’m going to shoot my grandmother.”
Not long afterward, he wrote, “I shot my grandmother.”
Lastly, he posted, “I’m going to shoot an elementary school.”
Those dark posts, Abbott said, came as the suspect in fact shot his grandmother, drove to Robb Elementary School, barricaded himself in, and opened fire on a group of children and teachers. Officers forced their way into the classroom where a Border Patrol officer shot and killed Ramos, Abbott said.
A spokesman for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said the gunman’s messages, which were made in private one-to-one texts, were discovered following the shooting.
With 21 dead and 17 others injured, this was the deadliest school shooting in almost a decade and comes on the heels of another mass shooting only 10 days ago.
Tuesday’s assault is the second-deadliest school shooting since 2012 when 26 children and adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Authorities say the gunman was a loner who had just turned 18 less than two weeks prior to the shooting and had legally bought two assault rifles and ammunition.
President Joe Biden in a national address Tuesday night recalled the Sandy Hook shooting, which took place while he was vice president.
“I had hoped when I became President I would not have to do this again,” he said. “How many scores of little children who witnessed what happened — see their friends die as if they’re in a battlefield, for God’s sake. They’ll live with it the rest of their lives.”
“To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away,” Biden said.
Sympathy also poured in from across the globe, including Pope Francis, who pushed for stronger gun control. Leaders of France, Germany and Spain shared condolences, too, along with the President of war-torn Ukraine, who called it “terrible to have victims of shooters in peaceful time.”