what we know about the killings that left at least twenty-one dead in Uvalde

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Salvador Ramos did not have a prior criminal record or proven mental health issues.

It was 11:30 a.m. in Uvalde, Texas, when a teenager opened fire Tuesday, May 24, on students and staff at an elementary school in the town. At least 19 children and two teachers were killed by the young man, identified as Salvador Ramos, just 18 years old.

The teenager had announced via Facebook that he was going to attack an elementary school, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said at a press conference on Wednesday. His speech was disrupted by and democrat Beto O’Rourke. “You say it wasn’t predictable, it was completely predictable from the moment you decided not to do anything”blasted the Democrat, gubernatorial candidate against Mr. Abbott, accusing the latter of being “ responsible “he assured.

US President Joe Biden has announced that he will be visiting Texas in a few days. The powerful pro-gun lobby, the NRA, cleared itself of all responsibility on Wednesday, denouncing “the act of an isolated and deranged criminal”

What is the profile of the shooter?

Salvador Ramos is an American citizen enrolled in Uvalde high school where he had dropped out, Greg Abbott said on Wednesday. He had been living with his grandmother for two months, said Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

He has no criminal history as a minor or any psychological problems known to local health departments, Governor Abbott said, calling him a “demented” who has “disabilities causing him to shoot his grandmother and then kill babies, all those young children”.

A cousin, Mia, told the Washington Post that he no longer wanted to go to class where he was harassed because of his stutter.

On May 17, the day after his 18e anniversary, he had purchased a semi-automatic rifle, then ammunition, then another automatic rifle on May 20 from the same Uvalde armory, Mr. McCraw detailed. Investigators have so far found no evidence to explain his actions.

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An act announced via Facebook

Greg Abbott claimed the teenager announced the school attack via Facebook. A spokesperson for Meta, the company that owns Facebook, quickly clarified that these messages were sent privately to another user: “We are cooperating closely with law enforcement in their ongoing investigation. »

According to statements by Greg Abott, the young man wrote three messages on the social network to announce that he intended to carry out a shooting against an elementary school. He then wrote that he was going to shoot his grandmother, then confirmed that he had indeed fired at the latter, added Greg Abbott. Hit in the face, the 66-year-old woman survived and called the police. She was transported in critical condition to University Health Hospital in San Antonio. “The third message, probably less than fifteen minutes before arriving at the school, read: ‘I am going to open fire on a primary school'”, said Mr. Abbott. These messages are the only warnings issued before the shooting, the governor continued.

According CNN, these last messages were not intended for a public audience, but rather for a German woman he met online earlier this month. He announced just before his act that he had “shot (his) grandmother in the head” and went “shoot in a primary school now” . The 15-year-old girl, who lives in Frankfurt, said he was angry with his grandmother that morning because she was “on the phone with (telephone company) AT&T” about his phone. According to her, the young man spent a lot of time alone at home and “never had plans to go out with his friends”.

What we know about the course of events

After shooting his grandmother, the young man fled with his pick-up. After 3.5 kilometers on the road, he was the victim of an accident for an undetermined reason near the Robb primary school, where more than 500 children aged between 7 and 11 are educated. They only had a few more school days before the end of the school year.

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He exits the vehicle with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a backpack. He is quickly confronted by a police officer assigned to the security of the primary school who cannot prevent him from entering the establishment through an access door, said Steven McCraw.

When he enters the building, he enters a corridor that leads to two adjoining classrooms, followed by three policemen who ask for reinforcement. It is 11:30 a.m. on the spot (6:30 p.m., Paris time) when he barricades himself in one of them and that “the carnage begins”according to the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

It took several tens of minutes before the shooter was killed by an elite Border Police unit.

Joe Biden will go to Uvalde

US President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he would travel in the coming days with his wife to Texas, in order to“bringing some comfort to a shocked, grieving and traumatized community”.

Joe Biden traveled to Buffalo, New York, just over a week ago to meet with families of victims of a supermarket shooting by a white supremacist. “I am sick and tired of this”, he said, urging the Senate to quickly approve the appointment of Steven Dettelbach to head the federal agency in charge of gun control laws. The American president also renewed his criticism of the pro-firearms lobby in the United States, which is striving to stop any attempt to strengthen legislation in the sector.

Read also our editorial: Shooting in Texas: the United States is killing each other, the Republican Party is looking elsewhere

Le Monde with AP, AFP and Reuters

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