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‘Sheer face of evil itself’: Gunman kept intentions under wraps until moments before massacre

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the Uvalde gunman “was the sheer face of evil itself,” and yet managed to keep his twisted …
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the Uvalde gunman “was the sheer face of evil itself,” and yet managed to keep his twisted intentions under wraps until moments before the monstrous massacre of innocent schoolchildren. Salvador Ramos, 18, had no criminal or mental-health history. In the half-hour leading up to Tuesday’s attack, however, he sent three private Facebook messages, paraphrased as “I’m going to shoot my grandmother,” “I shot my grandmother,” and “I’m going to shoot an elementary school.”
He sent the last message about 15 minutes before driving his 66-year-old grandmother’s truck to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, where he used an AR-15 to shoot and kill 19 children and two teachers in a fourth-grade classroom.
“Evil swept across Uvalde yesterday,” said Mr. Abbott at a Uvalde High School press conference with state officials and Texas’ two U.S. senators. “Anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face has to have evil in his heart. But it is far more evil for someone to gun down little kids.”
The gunman was shot and killed at the school by an agent with the Customs and Border Protection’s elite tactical unit, whose name has not been released, after the team breached the barricaded classroom. Steven McCraw, Texas Department of Public Safety director, confirmed that Ramos was responsible for the attack and expressed frustration with the absence of warning signs. The Texas Rangers are leading the investigation in conjunction with the federal and state agencies.
“We have yet to find a clue, whether it’s social media or other indicators that might have given us any type of idea that he was about to do something like this and give us an opportunity to prevent it,” Mr. McCraw said. The horrific attack, the deadliest school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre in Newton, Connecticut, prompted Mr. Abbott and other state officials to focus on bringing in more mental-health resources, particularly in rural areas and small towns like Uvalde, which has 16,000 residents.
“I asked the sheriff and others an open-ended question, and got the same answer from the sheriff as well as from the mayor of Uvalde. The question was, ‘What is the problem here?’” Mr. Abbott said. “They were straightforward and emphatic: They said, we have a problem with mental health.

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