A former classmate of the Texas school shooter said Salvador Ramos was bullied at school over his clothing and because his family was poor.
The former classmate, who asked not to be identified, told CNN he and Ramos, 18, were somewhat ‘close’ and used to play Xbox together.
He said Ramos began showing up to class less and less as other kids bullied him about his clothing and his family’s financial situation.
‘He would, like, not go to school…and he just, like, slowly dropped out. He barely came to school,’ the friend said.
After the North Dakota native graduated from high school, the friend said they became even more distant from each other, but would occasionally message each other on Xbox.
Ramos got a job at a local Wendy’s, where colleagues remembered him as quiet and antisocial.
‘He would message me here and there,’ he said.
Four days prior to Tuesday’s shooting, Ramos reportedly sent his friend a picture of the AR and a backpack full of 5.56 rounds.
Salvador Ramos, 18, was reportedly bullied at school for his clothing and because his family was poor, a ‘close’ friend said
Four days before the shooting, Ramos reportedly sent his friend pictures of his guns and ammunition. When asked why he had it, Ramos allegedly replied: ‘Don’t worry about it’
‘[He had] probably like seven [magazines],’ he said. “I was like: “Bro, why do you have this?” and he was like: “Don’t worry about it.”‘
The school shooter – who originates from North Dakota and had recently moved to Texas – had reportedly bought two rifles on his 18th birthday, which was days ago, the Daily Beast reported.
Under a new Texan law passed in September, those aged 18-21 could buy guns if they had a protective order, because they were at risk of family violence, stalking, prostitution or sex trafficking.
The law also removed the requirement for a permit for a handgun. Rifles were already permitted in Texas without licenses.
Ramos also told his friend that he ‘looked very different now.’
‘You wouldn’t recognize me,’ he messaged less than a week ago.
Ramos’s social media was full of photos of his new guns, which he bought on his 18th birthday, state senator Roland Gutierrez said.
Ramos also messaged a Los Angeles-based woman on May 12 on Instagram, tagging her in a photo of the guns.
‘You gonna repost my gun pics,’ @sal8dor_ direct messaged her.
His social media was filled with new rifles, which he purchased on his 18th birthday
He killed 19 kids and two adults at an elementary Robb Elementary School on Tuesday
‘what your guns gotta do with me,’ she replied on Friday.
‘Just wanted to tag you,’ he said back.
Then at 5:43am on Tuesday, @salv8dor_ messaged her and said: ‘I’m about to’.
The girl asked ‘about to what’ to which he answered: ‘I’ll tell you before 11.’
He said he’d text her in an hour and urged her to respond.
‘I got a lil secret I wanna tell u,’ he messaged with a smiley face emoji covering its mouth.
‘Be grateful I tagged you,’ he wrote.
She replied: ‘No it’s just scary,’ adding: ‘I barely know you and you tag me in a picture with some guns?’
His last message at 9:16am on Tuesday was ‘Ima air out’.
The shooting started around 11:32am.
The woman reacted with horror when she learnt what he had done.
‘He’s a stranger I know nothing about him he decided to tag me in his gun post,’ she wrote.
‘I’m so sorry for the victims and their families I really don’t know what to say.’
She then added: ‘The only reason I responded to him was because I was afraid of him I wish I stayed awake to at least try to convince him to not commit his crime. I didn’t know.’
When an Instagram user asked if she was his girlfriend, she replied: ‘I don’t know him and I don’t even live in Texas.’
He largely dropped out, and took the job at Wendy’s, where co-workers remember him as quiet.
Adrian Mendes, evening manager at the Wendy’s, said Ramos ‘kept to himself mostly.’
‘He felt like the quiet type, the one who doesn’t say much. He didn’t really socialize with the other employees,’ Mendes told CNN.
‘He just worked, got paid, and came in to get his check.’
Mendes said that he did not know Ramos well – he was already employed when Mendes began in February – and didn’t see him most of the time because they were on different shifts.
Ramos worked from 11am to 4pm or 5pm, five days a week.
Ramos was shot and killed by law enforcement at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, after he had murdered 21 people.