There are new claims that Salvador Ramos was arrested as a juvenile after telling people he planned to ‘shoot up a school in 2022 when he was a senior’
Texas Republican Tony Gonzalez claimed on Friday that Salvador Ramos, the gunman in the Uvalde shooting, was one of two teenagers arrested four years ago after plotting to shoot up a school in the town.
Gonzalez made the claims on FOX News on Friday morning, saying: ‘This wasn’t hearsay. I got this late last night: the shooter was arrested years ago, four years ago, for having this plan for basically saying, for saying, you know, when I’m a senior in 2022, I am going to shoot up a school.’
‘Something fell between the cracks between then and now to allow this to happen. We need to shake out all the facts.’
DailyMail.com can confirm that an incident in Uvalde where two ‘Columbine-infatuated’ teenage boys were arrested for threatening to shoot up a school but because they were juveniles, their identities were not confirmed at the time.
While Gonzales says it was Ramos, FOX reporter Bill Melugin reports that Uvalde police have denied it he was involved.
He tweeted: ‘Texas DPS & Texas Rangers tell me this is incorrect. There were two juveniles arrested on conspiracy charges for a shooting plot several years back, but the Uvalde shooter was not involved in that incident and was not arrested.’
Law enforcement and Texas Governor Greg Abbott are yet to comment on the arrest but a press briefing has been scheduled for noon EST.
At the time of the 2018 incident, the school spokesperson said in a press release: ‘One of our Morales Junior High students was experiencing a crisis. Upon rendering aid and support, the student revealed a future plan to conduct a school shooting in the year of 2022.’
Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez said in a press release at the time that a Morales Junior High School student age 14 and a former Morales student, 13, were ‘infatuated with the Columbine High School shootings’ and had a list of fellow students they planned to kill in a ‘mass casualty event’.
Texas Republican Tony Gonzalez has said Salvador Ramos, the gunman in the Uvalde shooting, was arrested four years ago as a minor after telling people he planned to shoot up a school once he turned 18
‘The investigation revealed that the students were infatuated with the Columbine High School shootings and identified themselves to the shooters,’ Rodriguez said in the 2014 press release. ‘The investigation uncovered that the students even referred to themselves using the Columbine shooter’s names.
‘One of the students had numerous writings and drawings which depicted weapons capable of causing mass destruction. He wrote about being “God-like” and killing police and other persons. He had an academic analysis of one of the Columbine shooter’s journals.’
The two boys planned on detonating home-made bombs before killing their fellow students ‘ranked by priority’.
According to reports at the time, one of the boys confessed their plan to school staff, who had them evaluated by mental health professionals on April 19 2018 and contacted cops. A week later they were arrested for Conspiracy to Commit Murder and taken to a juvenile detention center in Del Rio.
Ramos, who turned 18 on May 16, would have been 13 years old at the time of his alleged arrest. As juvenile criminal records are sealed, it is unclear whether the boys were convicted of the murder conspiracy charges. It is also unclear how Ramos as a freshly-turned 18-year-old was able to legally buy two AR-15s and hundreds of rounds of ammunition just days from the date authorities knew he had planned to shoot up a school.
A KHOU11 report from the 2018 incident said the older of the pair was ‘released on April 23  to his mother’s care’. Ramos had a fractious relationship with his mother who reportedly was a drug addict he and was living with his grandparents when he committed the shooting.
An unnamed student told KHOU11 at the time: ‘Any kids that had talked bad about them or said anything they did not like, basically, they said they were going to go and kill them. ‘You just felt unsafe. And teachers have been bringing it to our attention that you can’t be saying those things anymore. We can’t do that. It is wrong,’ the student added. ‘It was scary. We hear it everywhere else, but you don’t expect for it to happen in your town,” one parent said. “I am glad they were able to control the situation before anything does happen. And that they actually did something about it. Sometimes you think they’re just going to hear it, and say it won’t happen and dust it under the rug, and they actually did something.’
The Uvalde Leader-News reported that Texas Ranger Ryan Kindell was ‘collecting and analyzing additional evidence’ after the 2018 arrests. When contacted by DailyMail.com, Kindell declined to comment. Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District communications director Anne Espinoza, who also wrote the district’s statements about the 2018 case, did not respond to a request for comment. The school was also the subject of shooting threats in 2020 according to police.
Investigators said a 16-year-old living in Puerto Rico, who was already known to Uvalde law enforcement, threatened to carry out a shooting at schools in the area.
Police said she phoned in the threats over several days in 2020. ‘We have dealt with her before here, she went to school here in 2018. We had problems with her back then,’ Lt. Mariano Pargas Jr. told the Uvalde Leader-News in 2020.
On Wednesday, Abbott admitted that police did not yet know whether Ramos had a juvenile record.
They are yet to issue an official statement and Gonzales has not offered any more information about where he received the information.
The teenager legally purchased the two guns he used in Tuesday’s attack within days of turning 18 last week.
There are now growing questions over how he was able to purchase the weapons legally. Juvenile arrest records are often sealed, and it remains unclear the extent to they appear on background checks for adults buying guns.
Ramos had a difficult relationship with his mother, Adriana, and had gone to live with his grandparents who he celebrated his 18th birthday week just last week.
On Tuesday morning, he launched the attack by first shooting his grandmother Celia in the face. She survived, stumbled outside to her neighbor’s house then they called 911 together.
Tributes outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Thursday as questions grow over whether the shooting could have been prevented
Department of Safety Lt. Chris Olivarez made the astonishing comments during an appearance on CNN last night. He said the ‘American people need to understand’ that the cops could have been shot so they retreated
Ramos fled in a stolen truck with his two guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Ramos had communicated with teenagers from different countries on apps like Yubo, and he also spoke with friends through Facebook messenger.
On Tuesday, he sent a private message to a girl in Germany telling her that he was about to ‘shoot an elementary school.’
There is also increasing anger and frustration over the police response on the ground, and the fact cops retreated when he first opened fire and then waited over an hour for SWAT back up while Ramos remained in a classroom, trapped with the 19 kids and two teachers he killed.
On Thursday night, Department of Safety Lt. Chris Olivarez said police didn’t rush into the classroom where Ramos was because they feared they would get shot.
He was being challenged by Wolf Blitzer over why the first officers who responded to the shooting retreated after Salvador Ramos shot at them with his AR-15 and then waited an hour for tactical SWAT teams to take him out, leaving him alone in a classroom with the 19 fourth graders and two teachers who he slaughtered.
‘Don’t current best practices, Lieutenant, call for officers to disable a shooter as quickly as possible, regardless of how many officers are actually on site?’ Blitzer asked.
He replied: ‘In the active shooter situation, you want to stop the killing, you want to preserve life. But also one thing that, of course, the American people need to understand is that officers are making entry into this building. They do not know where the gunman is. They are hearing gunshots. They are receiving gunshots.’
He then appeared to try to take credit for the gunman being locked in the classroom with the kids for an hour – including some he shot at the start of the rampage who later died in the hospital – claiming it saved other lives.
Police initially said that the gunman barricaded himself inside the classroom and that they had trouble gaining access to the room, and one unnamed law official anonymously spoke out to say SWAT teams had to wait for a different school staff member to bring them a key to the class.
‘At that point, if they proceeded any further not knowing where the suspect was at, they could’ve been shot, they could’ve been killed, and at that point that gunman would have had an opportunity to kill other people inside that school.
As the gunman unleashed terror inside the school, desperate parents were forced to wait outside and some were even put in handcuffs after they tried to enter the school to find their kids and rescue them
This is how the shooting played out over the course of nearly two hours from when Ramos killed his grandmother at home. He arrived at the school at 11.28am and the first 911 calls were made. He then walked unobstructed into the building with his AR-15 and headed towards the classroom. He fought off cops at 11.44am, then was left alone in the room with the victims until around 12.44pm – when SWAT arrived. The incident was declared over at 1.06pm
‘So they were able to contain that gunman inside that classroom so that he was not able to go to any other portions of the school to commit any other killings,’ Lt. Olivarez said.
Experts have slammed the decision to wait for back up as ‘outdated’ and ‘disgusting’.
‘Waiting an hour is disgusting. If that turns out to be true, then it is a disgusting fact,’ Sean Burke, a retired school resource officer from Massachusetts who now is the president of the School Safety Advocacy Council, told NBC.
Ramos was described as a loner who self-harmed his face and had a problematic relationship with his mom
‘If you’ve got somebody you think is actively engaged in harming people or attempting to harm people, your obligation as a police officer is to immediately stop that person and neutralize that threat.
‘We don’t expect police officers to commit suicide in doing it.
‘But the expectation is that if someone is about to harm someone, especially children, you’ve got to take immediate action to make that stop,’ Don Alwes, an ex-instructor for the National Tactical Officers Association, added.
Surgeons at the hospital in Uvalde have also suggested that the delay in responding to the shooting may have cost some kids their lives.
It remains unclear exactly how many children were in the classroom when the shooter opened fire, how many were killed immediately and how many were still alive but injured when police arrived.
Uvalde Memorial Hospital received two kids who had died by the time they got to the hospital.
Now, doctors are highlighting the importance of treating gunshot wounds as soon as they happen.
‘You can’t wait until patients go to a trauma center.
‘You have to act quickly,’ Dr. Ronald Stewart, the senior trauma surgeon at the University Hospital in Antonio, said.