The grandfather of the teenager who opened fire at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday and killed 19 children and two teacher said he had ‘no idea’ his grandson had purchased two AR-15 rifles.
Rolando Reyes, 72, says he would have called the cops on his grandson, Salvador Ramos, 18, had he known there were firearms in the house.
‘I didn’t know he had weapons. If I’d have known, I would have reported it,’ said Reyes, who has a past felony conviction making it illegal for him to live in a home with firearms.
Ramos was shot dead by police after he killed 19 fourth-grade students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The gunman had bought the two weapons shortly after he turned 18 on May 16, as well as over three hundred rounds of ammunition.
His grandfather told that there were no signs anything unusual was going to happen on Tuesday.
Despite this, Ramos shot his grandmother in the forehead before stealing her car and taking off toward the elementary school. Reyes said his grandson did not have a driver’s license and did not know how to drive.
On Tuesday Reyes was out of the house when the teen shot his wife. A neighbor had to call him to let him know, and by the time he rushed back home, his grandson had escaped in the car, which he later crashed and abandoned.
‘The neighbor called me and said she’d been shot. When I came over here he said he’d taken off. It still hasn’t sunk in,’ he said.
His grandmother is currently in hospital, though Reyes says he believes she will survive.
Reyes said he would sometimes take his grandson to work, since he couldn’t drive himself. He described him as quiet, but said he didn’t seem violent. Ramos had been staying with his grandparents for several months after having a falling out with his mother.
The grandfather also wondered how Ramos would have gone to purchase the weapons or if he trained on the weapons, noting that someone must have driven him to get them.
Ramos reportedly purchased the two AR-15 style rifles on May 22, two days before the massacre and six days after he turned 18. Both purchases were legal.
When he arrived at the elementary school on Tuesday, just before noon, he entered a fourth grade classroom and barricaded himself inside before opening fire. Police officers quickly entered the classroom and took fire from the gunman before they shot and killed him.
Tuesday’s shooting was the deadliest school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, which resulted in the deaths of 27 people in Newtown, Connecticut. The death toll also surpassed the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018.