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Report: Uvalde school shooter born in Fargo and other revelations

Details about the 18-year-old who killed 21 people, including 19 children, are part of an interim report released Sunday by a Texas House committee investigating the shooting at Robb Elementary School.

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The home of gunman 18-year-old Salvador Ramos is cordoned off with police tape on May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. Ramos was born in Fargo and moved to Uvalde with his family as a child.
Jordan Vonderhaar / TNS file photo
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DALLAS — The gunman who opened fire inside a Uvalde elementary school reportedly had been nicknamed “school shooter,” terrorized women with graphic threats of violence and became fascinated by mass killings before the May massacre.

Details about the 18-year-old who killed 21 people, including 19 children, are part of an interim report released Sunday by a Texas House committee investigating the shooting at Robb Elementary School.

The 77-page report lays out Salvador Ramos’ — who the committee only referred to as “the attacker” to deny him the “notoriety and fame” that motivated his rampage — disturbed behavior and missed warning signs leading to the state’s deadliest school shooting.

Ramos was born in Fargo, North Dakota, and moved to Uvalde as a child with his sister and mother, who had a strained relationship with her children and struggled with drug use. A former girlfriend told the FBI she believed Ramos was sexually assaulted as a young age by one of his mother’s boyfriends, but his mother didn’t believe him, the report says.

Relatives said Ramos was shy, quiet and reluctant to interact with others because he had a speech impediment. His pre-K teacher described him in a report as a “wonderful student,” while school records say he was academically behind and labeled “at-risk” for poor test results.

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The report says his fourth grade year at Robb Elementary School, the same classroom where the shooting took place, was significant to him: Family told the committee he was bullied over his stutter, clothing and short haircut that year. However, notes in Ramos’ phone suggest the bullying began in middle school.

He was recording more than 100 absences a year, as well as failing grades, beginning in 2018. It is unclear whether school resource officers ever visited the home despite his truancy, and he had almost no school disciplinary history, the report says.

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By 2021, when he was 17, Ramos had only completed ninth grade. Uvalde High School officials involuntarily withdrew him in late October because of “poor academic performance and lack of attendance,” according to the report.

That year, the report says, he grew more isolated. The former girlfriend interviewed by the FBI described him as lonely and depressed, “constantly teased by friends who called him a ‘school shooter.’” According to the report, he told his girlfriend at the time that he wouldn’t live past 18, either because he would commit suicide or “wouldn’t live long.”

He began to show interest in gore and violent sex online, the report says. Ramos wrote about his challenges connecting with others, describing himself as “not human.” His online search history suggests he questioned whether he was a sociopath, according to the report.

He also had a pattern of attacking women. When his girlfriend broke up with him in mid-2021, he harassed her and her friends, the girl told officials; he was also fired from a job at Whataburger for threatening a female co-worker. Online, he would become enraged and threaten female players when he lost games, the report says.

Ramos shared a video online in late 2021 of him and someone who he said he met online driving around, holding a clear plastic bag with a dead cat inside. The video then showed him dry firing BB guns at people; the video ended with footage of authorities responding to a serious car accident, which Ramos claimed his driver had caused.

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None of his online behavior, threats or violent rhetoric was reported to law enforcement, according to the report.

Ramos hoarded money, the report says, telling acquaintances that he was “saving for something big,” and clues of his plans first surfaced at the end of 2021, when he bought rifle slings, a red dot sight, shin guards and a body armor carrier.

The report says he also became increasingly fascinated with school shootings and sought fame on social media; on online gaming platforms his nickname, “school shooter,” became a running joke, according to the report.

His planning for the attack became more focused, the report says, after a fight with his mother, which was livestreamed on social media. He then moved in with his grandmother, who he shot and wounded before storming the school, and confided in relatives saying he didn’t want to live anymore.

In February, Ramos began buying more firearm accessories, including 60, 30-round magazines. After he turned 18 on May 16 — about a week before the shooting — he started buying guns, including two AR-15-style rifles, and thousands of rounds of ammunition, totaling more than $6,000. The report found that he had no experience with firearms and during the shooting was likely the first time he fired one.

The shooter started foreshadowing his plans and a timeline online.

On April 2, he sent someone a message, “Are you still gonna remember me in 50 something days?” The person responded, “probably not.”

“Hmm alright we’ll see in may,” Ramos said back.

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In the last days before the attack, he saved news articles about the mass shooting at a Buffalo, N.Y. supermarket. He also spent time with his cousin’s son, who attended Robb elementary, and asked for details about his schedule.

On the eve of the shooting, Ramos sent people “vague but ominous” messages about something he said he planned for the following day. He explained that his “lil secret,” as he described a friend, was impossible to do that day because he was waiting for a delivery. More than 1,700 hollow-point bullets arrived later that day.

The report’s section on Ramos concluded: “Prior to the shooting, the attacker had no criminal history and had never been arrested. He is not known to have espoused any ideology or political views of any kind. Private individuals alone knew the many warning signals.”

©2022 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

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