New information about the Uvalde shooter has been revealed during the special Senate hearing on the shooting, indicating that, despite his “abhorrent behavior,” including animal abuse being known and noted around the small town, shooter Salvador Ramos was never reported to law enforcement.
Col. Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, gave testimony during the special Senate hearing on the Uvalde shooting that Ramos may have been influenced by social media and the idea of instant and lasting notoriety, leading him to conduct the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24.
McCraw also told the Texas Senate “Special Committee to protect all Texans” that he conducted between 500 and 700 interviews as part of the investigations. He said that one teacher told him, “Ramos was the student who scared her the most” and that he had begun “dressing like a mass shooter” months before.
“Out of all these interviews, how many times did they tell you he was the one they were worried about?” State Sen. Republican Paul Bettencourt asked McCraw.
“Several times. We had one teacher who said she was always worried about him,” McCraw said. “He was the one student who scared her most. We discussed, as I mentioned earlier, last year he started dressing like a school shooter, started acting like a school shooter.”
McCraw told investigators that Ramos had exhibited concerning behavior that was reported by at least half a dozen individuals long before the shooting itself. These behaviors were never reported to police prior to the shooting.
McCraw also told investigators about multiple reports in his interviews about Ramos carrying around a bag of dead cats. Neither law enforcement nor the Uvalde school district had any record of such an incident, implying that it was never reported, which Bettencourt referred to as a “major failure.”
“You mentioned a couple of times notoriety — let me ask it this way regarding social media. It plays into human nature, men specifically, about wanting to leave their mark, wanting to be significant, wanting that purpose, wanting to be something. And that can be good or bad,” state Republican Sen. Charles Perry said to McCraw.
“Do you think the social media aspect of the platform — and it’s just been relevant up in the last 30 years, right? I’m 60 — we had these individuals who weren’t treated right or felt like they were mistreated or had issues, but they didn’t have a platform.” Perry continued, “Do you think that the idea that this guy knew the minute he pulled the trigger that he just got notoriety on a worldwide basis that will live unfortunately into perpetuity?”
“Absolutely,” McCraw answered.