The 18-year-old gunman who opened fire at a Texas elementary school, killing 18 kids and at least two adults, bought two assault rifles on his 18th birthday and appeared to send some ominous Instagram messages just hours before the massacre.
Salvador Ramos shot his grandmother then crashed his car near Robb Elementary School in Ulvade at about 11:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday. Police pursued him as he ran into the school with a handgun and possibly a rifle, Texas officials said.
“As soon as he made entry into the school he started shooting children, teachers, whoever was in his way, he was shooting everybody,” Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Lt. Chris Olivarez said.
Earlier on Tuesday, an Instagram account that appears to belong to Ramos sent direct messages to a teenager in Los Angeles, telling her he wanted to share a “lil secret,” according to screenshots shared by the recipient, who said she barely knew Ramos but had been randomly tagged by him in photos of guns before.
He said he’d text the person in an hour and she’d have to respond, but she said she might not be awake. The last thing he wrote was, “Ima air out.”
The same Instagram account was deleted shortly after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott identified him as the shooter. It featured photos and stories of automatic firearms—as well as selfies of someone who strongly resembled a photo of the killer shared by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The account posted an image three days ago of two rifles, including what appeared to be a Daniel Defense AR-15 with a high-capacity magazine. Another image from April 28 showed someone holding a magazine.