A grisly checklist and a sickening rampage: Inside the Uvalde massacre


The gray Ford pickup truck veered into a ditch with such force that people who live on the block assumed it was an accident and rushed over to help the driver.

Instead, according to witness and police accounts, Salvador Rolando Ramos emerged wearing tactical gear and carrying an AR-15-style rifle he bought this month just after his 18th birthday. Bystanders scattered as Ramos hopped a fence, exchanged gunfire with a school police officer and strode through a back entrance to Robb Elementary. Inside, he embarked on a deadly rampage that brought the national scourge of school shootings to a fourth-grade classroom in this southern Texas town.

“That’s where the carnage began,” Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said at a news conference Wednesday.

Authorities say the attack was part of a grisly checklist Ramos had shared in private social media messages early Tuesday. The first item was to kill his grandmother, who lives near the school. He shot her in the face, authorities said, then left her for dead as he drove off in her truck. “I shot my grandmother,” Ramos wrote in an update. The next threat, according to the messages, was to “shoot an elementary school.” Within minutes of pressing send, shortly after 11:30 a.m., Ramos was barricaded inside a classroom with the 19 students and two teachers he would kill.

Those are the central elements of the timeline, pieced together from law enforcement statements, witness accounts and social media posts by families of victims. In the hours after the shooting, associates of Ramos shared disturbing exchanges or observations about him that suggested he was in a downward spiral, with a miserable home life, no chance of graduating with his senior class and a history of being bullied for his speech and attire.

On May 12, Ramos began messaging a California girl via Instagram, asking if she would repost photos of his gun. The teen, who has since shared the exchanges publicly, described the messages as scary and strange because she didn’t know Ramos.


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