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Texas school shooting victims were all in the same classroom, says state official

By Sky News

ALL OF the victims in the Texas primary school shooting were in one classroom, according to a state public safety official.

The gunman barricaded himself inside a classroom, “shooting anyone that was in his way,” the official said.

Police and others responding to Tuesday’s attack broke windows at the school in an effort to allow students and teachers inside to escape, Lt Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety told NBC’s Today.

Olivarez told CNN all victims were in the same fourth-grade (9-10 years old) classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, which is around 130 kilometres (80 miles) west of San Antonio.

Salvador Ramos, 18, entered the school after exchanging fire with authorities and having earlier shot his grandmother.

Multiple children in the classroom survived the shooting with injuries, Olivarez told Fox News.

“We do know that there were multiple children that did survive, that were injured. I do not have the exact number at this time,” he said.

A total of 21 people were killed, including two teachers and 19 children. Some victims from the shooting have been named.

He was eventually shot dead after committing America’s deadliest school massacre since the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut in 2012, where 27 people were killed.

The gunman – identified by officials as Salvador Ramos, who lived in the community – was killed by law enforcement responding to the 911 calls.

President Joe Biden expressed exasperation at “another massacre” and said it was “time to act” as he addressed the nation.

Biden, whose first wife and young daughter were killed in a car crash, added: “To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away.

“There’s a hollowness in your chest. You feel like you’re being sucked into it and never going to be able to get out.”

He told Americans it was “time we turned this pain into action”.

Suspect posed with guns and worked at fast-food chain

Police say Ramos acted alone in the act and is believed to have abandoned his car outside the school.

Lt Olivarez told MSNBC that the gunman used an AR-style rifle and had no criminal history.

The Texas Department of Public Safety had previously said Ramos had been wearing body armour, but Lt Olivarez said they believe he was wearing a type of vest that tactical teams use.

Photos on his social media show him posing with what appears to be a semi-automatic weapon.

Days before the attack, photos believed to be posted by Ramos on Instagram include what appeared to be a Daniel Defence AR-15 with a high-capacity magazine. Another image from April 28 showed someone holding a magazine.

According to CNN, Ramos texted photos to a former classmate of a firearm and a bag full of ammunition days before the attack.

“He would message me here and there, and four days ago he sent me a picture of the AR he was using… and a backpack full of 5.56 rounds, probably like seven mags,” the former classmate said.

“I was like, ‘Bro, why do you have this?’ and he was like, ‘Don’t worry about it’,” the student said. “He proceeded to text me, ‘I look very different now. You wouldn’t recognise me’.”

The Daily Dot reported that one of Ramos’ friends on Instagram shared a screenshot that Ramos had sent showing a receipt for a gun he bought from Daniel Defence, a gun manufacturer.

Another former classmate, who asked not to be identified, told CNN that he and Ramos were somewhat “close” and used to play Xbox together.

He added that Ramos was a fan of the shooting and combat game Call of Duty.

The Washington Post claimed that Ramos was “bullied” as a child, with one pupil saying his lisp made him a target, while others said he endured gay slurs and was made fun of because of his clothing.

‘Quiet type’ with an aggressive streak

Meanwhile, a manager at the local Wendy’s – a major fast-food chain in the US – said that Ramos worked the day shift at the restaurant.

“He felt like the quiet type, the one who doesn’t say much. He didn’t really socialise with the other employees,” Wendy’s evening manager Adrian Mendes said.

But one young woman, a former Wendy’s colleague, detected an aggressive streak, the Daily Beast reports.

“He would be very rude towards the girls sometimes, and one of the cooks, threatening them by asking, ‘Do you know who I am?’ And he would also send inappropriate texts to the ladies,” said the former co-worker, who wanted to remain anonymous.

“At the park, there’d be videos of him trying to fight people with boxing gloves. He’d take them around with him.”

The Wendy’s co-worker added that Ramos did not seem to socialise much outside his clique of friends – a group she described as “emo” or “alternative.”

CAPTIONS:

Top: People react following the mass shooting which left at least 19 children dead.

First insert: Salvador Ramos. Pic: Texas Department of Public Safety.

Second insert: Police believe the gunman posted photos on Instagram of two guns he used in the shooting.

Third insert: Social media images purporting to be of the gunman circulated after the incident.

Fourth insert: Some of the victims, clockwise from top left, Irma Garcia, Xavier Lopez, Amerie Jo Garza, Eva Mireles, Uziyah Garcia, Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez.

Home Page: Law enforcement officials work at Uvalde High School after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. All photos: Sky News


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