The day after his 18th birthday, Salvador Ramos, a troubled teenager in the small town of Texas, bought an assault rifle. A week later, he entered a local primary school, where he shot and killed 19 children and their two teachers.
Authorities are still trying to figure out what led Ramos to commit America’s worst school genocide in a decade, but here’s what the shooting has to say:
The way the gunman attacked
Described as a long-lived young man with a history of self-harm, Ramos turned 18 on May 16 and bought an assault rifle the next day.
He bought 375 rounds of ammunition on May 18 and then a second rifle two days later.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Ramos – a school dropout without a criminal history – posted a message on social media Tuesday morning that he planned to attack his grandmother.
Ramos shot his 66-year-old relative in the face. He survived and was airlifted to a nearby San Antonio hospital in critical condition.
The gunman again texted to say he had a plan to attack his grandmother and that his next target was an elementary school.
He drove just over two miles (3.2 kilometers), crashing near Rob Elementary School, where more than 500 students in grades 2 through 4 – about seven to 10 years old – had only three days left in class before the summer break.
He fired shots at spectators at a funeral home, then climbed a walkway, entered the school through a door that was apparently open, and entered two adjoining classrooms.
“That’s where the killings started,” said Steve McCrae, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
The way he was stopped
Police came to the scene as the crowd increased to the school.
Officers entered the school shortly after the gunman, but were detained during the gunfight and asked for a backup, according to DPS’s Victor Escalan.
Escalan said a tactical team was called in by U.S. Border Patrol agents to enter and kill the suspect “about an hour later.”
During the intervening period, officers removed students and teachers from the school, and tried unsuccessfully to negotiate with the gunmen, who stopped them with rifle shots.
Texas police are facing an investigation into the delay between the start of the attack and the gunman’s death.
Pressured by reporters about law enforcement’s response – and in conflicting accounts provided by officials – Escalan said investigators are still conducting interviews and working to consolidate what happened.
There were “numerous officers” involved, he said. “Once we’ve interviewed all those officers, we’ll have a better idea of what they thought, what they did, why they did it.”
Who was the gunman?
McCormack said Ramos had been living with his grandmother for two months. According to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the local health department had no mental health problems.
Mia, a cousin, said after the Washington Post teased Ramos for stuttering that he was “not a social person.”
But two high school graduate seniors – both of whom said they knew the shooter – painted a different picture.
“We went to school with him … we all knew him,” James Cruz, 18, told AFP.
“I clearly think he was a rapist at school. It’s not just that he was bullied, he was a rapist,” Cruz said.
Ariana Diaz, 17, agrees, “She was a rapist.
Speaking to ABC News, Ramos’ mother, Adriana Reyes, said her son could be aggressive if angry but “not a monster” – and he was not aware that he was buying weapons.
“I sometimes had an uncomfortable feeling, like ‘What are you doing?’,” He said. “We all have an anger, for some people it is more than others.”
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)