The grandfather of the shooter responsible for the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday said he did not know his grandson had purchased guns in the days leading up to the shooting and that he would have turned him in ahead of time.
The shooter, identified by officials as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, purchased two military-style rifles and stored them at his grandparents’ house, where the teenager was living after having a fallout with his mother. However, his grandfather, Rolando Reyes, said he had no idea he had bought the weapons, noting it’s illegal for firearms to be in the house because of Reyes’s criminal record.
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“I don’t like weapons. I cannot be around weapons,” Reyes told ABC News. “I didn’t know he had weapons. … If I would’ve known, I would’ve reported him.”
"I didn't know he had weapons... if I would have known, I would have reported him."— ABC News (@ABC) May 25, 2022
Rolando Reyes spoke to @ABC News’ @mattgutmanABC about his grandson, the 18-year-old suspect in the shooting at Robb Elementary School that killed 21 people. https://t.co/ZA3yopwmMA pic.twitter.com/Mv978jHcNr
Ramos had not been a student for over a year and never graduated from high school, Reyes said. However, the grandfather said he did not have any indication the teenager was struggling with anything, saying “he was very quiet” and that they did not have regular substantive conversations.
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The gunman legally purchased the two rifles at a local federal firearms licensee on May 17 and May 20, just days after he turned 18, according to state Sen. John Whitmire. The teenager also bought 375 rounds of ammunition on May 18.
The grandfather had no idea his grandson was capable of carrying out the attack, noting he didn’t know Ramos was responsible until a neighbor told him about the news reports and said he had watched the 18-year-old drive away. The teenager did not have a driver’s license, Ramos said.
The 18-year-old gunman killed at least 21 people in the school, including 19 children and two teachers. The shooter was also killed on the scene by law enforcement officials. All 19 of the children killed in a shooting at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday were in the same fourth grade classroom, according to a state public safety official.