UVALDE, Texas - A Border Patrol agent who was working near Robb Elementary School rushed into the school with other officers when shooting began and killed the gunman, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said.
The agent stormed the school with other officers from various law enforcement agencies, Abbott said at a news conference Wednesday, a day after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos killed 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. It's the deadliest shooting at a U.S. school since 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut in 2012.
Police said all the victims were in the same fourth-grade classroom. Before the school massacre, Ramos shot his grandmother in the face.
"The shooter was able to make entry into a classroom, barricaded himself inside that classroom and again just began shooting numerous children and teachers that were in that classroom having no regard for human life … Just began shooting anyone that was in his way," Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety said. "At that point we had a tactical law enforcement arrive … that were able to make forcible entry into that classroom. They were met with gunfire as well, but they were able to shoot and kill that suspect.’’
Uvalde, home to about 16,000 people, is about 75 miles from the border with Mexico. Jason Owens, a top regional official with the Border Patrol, said some area agents have children at Robb Elementary.
"It hit home for everybody," he said.
UVALDE, TX - MAY 24: Members of the community gather at the City of Uvalde Town Square for a prayer vigil in the wake of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. (Photo by Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)
About 30 minutes before the bloodbath, Ramos sent three messages online, Abbott said. Ramos wrote in the first that he was going to shoot his grandmother, then that he had shot the woman, and finally that he was going to shoot up an elementary school, according to Abbott. It was not clear whether Ramos specified which school.
The private one-to-one text messages were sent to another user via Facebook and "discovered after the terrible tragedy," company spokesman Andy Stone said. He said Facebook is cooperating with investigators.
"Evil swept across Uvalde yesterday. Anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face has to have evil in his heart," Abbott said at a news conference. "But it is far more evil for someone to gun down little kids."