In the months before Tuesday’s school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, which left 21 dead, gunman Salvador Ramos discussed guns and school shootings on social media several times, according to news details released by police.
In a group chat on Instagram in February, participants mentioned school shootings, Texas officials said at a news conference Friday.
The following month, Ramos mentioned that he bought a gun on March 1 and March 3. A fellow participant asked the 18-year-old if he already had his weapon.
“I just bought something,” Ramos replied.
Police said Ramos legally purchased two high-powered AR-15 style rifles and hundreds of ammunition shortly after turning 18 on May 16.
Later that month, one of Ramos’ messages appeared to alert his chatmates.
“10 more days,” Ramos wrote.
“Are you going to shoot at the school or something?” they replied.
“No, stop asking stupid questions,” Ramos replied. “You will see it.”
The Instagram posts are the latest in a growing digital trail of warnings left by the gunman ahead of the attack, the second-worst school shooting in US history.
A 15-year-old girl from Germany told: The New York Times that Ramos had texted her just before the shooting that read, “I’m going to shoot an elementary school.”
The teen, who is only known as Cece, told the paper she received the message right after another at 11:21 am, in which the suspect texted her, “I just shot my grandmother in the head.”
She said she met Ramos several weeks ago on the Yubo live streaming app, and that earlier in the month he sent her a video message from a gun store, where he said he bought an AR-15 rifle.
Cece says she didn’t raise the alarm, but when news of the massacre broke, a friend in the US was contacted on her behalf.
A classmate told CNN that Ramos had also sent him pictures of guns and ammunition.
“I was like, ‘Bro, why are you having this?’ and he said, ‘Don’t worry,'” the student said. “He texted me, ‘I look very different now. You wouldn’t recognize me.”
The teen also messaged a seemingly unknown person on the morning of the shooting, tagging her in photos of his guns and saying he had a “secret” to tell her.
Despite numerous indications that Ramos was fascinated with guns and assembling a stockpile of high-powered weapons, none of his conduct prior to the shooting violated Texas law.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Wednesday there was “no meaningful warning about his crime,” and that Ramos had no prior criminal record or criminal record known to authorities.