An 18-year-old employee at a local Wendy’s, humiliated by his classmates for the type of clothes he wore, for having a stutter, for coming from a poor home, broke into a class of young children in a primary school in his town, Uvalde, Texas, and killed 19 students and two teachers, causing the largest massacre of its kind since the shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, in December 2012, almost a decade ago, which killed 20 children. and five adults.

As that 20-year-old shooter did then, Salvador Ramos first shot a relative – his 66-year-old grandmother, in the face and who is in critical condition – and left in the direction of Robb Elementary School in the small town of 16,000 people – about 140 kilometers east of San Antonio – where he had studied to unload his fury and shoot anyone who came his way.

What is frightening is that he announced the massacre on Facebook. As reported by the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, today at a press conference, published a series of posts on the aforementioned social network. In the first of them you could read: “I’m going to shoot my grandmother.” And then continue saying: “I shot my grandmother.” In the third and last message, about 15 minutes earlier, the announcement of the massacre arrived: “I am going to shoot at a primary school.”

According to Abbott, the woman survived and called the police, the shooter fled in a vehicle and had an accident at the gates of the school and then went inside. Ramos was shot by a US Border Patrol officer.

Thirty fateful minutes he resisted inside the school before the local police were able to shoot him down and end the “carnage”, as the president of the United States, Joe Biden, described it hours later. The first agents displaced to the educational center with a clear Hispanic majority – some 500 students attended classes every day – began to break windows to try to save the lives of other students before being able to enter the classroom and arrest Ramos.

They could not prevent the massacre in a room full of minors, most of them 10 years old, fourth grade, all of them identified. Xavier López, 10, “was funny, never serious and with a big smile,” as his mother, Felicha Martínez, described in an interview with The Washington Post. Amerie Jo Garza, also 10, is already “on her way to heaven with the angels up there,” as her father, Angel Garza, wrote on her Facebook account. Uziyah Garcia was a kid “full of life,” a great kid who loved anything with wheels, according to his family’s account. And so up to 19 children.

Ramos, a high school student, arrived at his old school driving a large pickup that he crashed and left lying in a nearby ditch before entering the school grounds. His motives have not been made clear, but the constant teasing at school for years, coupled with a complicated childhood, marked by his mother’s drug addiction, may be behind his tragic end. A former classmate of the shooter has confirmed that he was constantly bullied and was “laughed at a lot”.

From his boss at Wendy’s, the hamburger chain, it is known that he was a very introverted young man, very given to silence and to interacting little with his co-workers. “He was perceived as a kind of quiet person, that he doesn’t say much. He didn’t really socialize with the other employees,” said Adrián Mendes. “He just worked, got paid and came for his check.”

It is a profile similar to that described by the students of the Uvalde institute, which he had frequently stopped attending. “He almost never came,” a friend who did not want to be identified, but to whom Ramos sent a photo with the semi-automatic weapons that he already had in his possession, told CNN.

In this regard, it has been confirmed that the shooter took advantage of his 18th birthday to buy two assault rifles. “It’s the first thing he did when he turned 18,” said state senator Ronald Gutierrez. The weapons he purchased through a licensed dealer, according to the Texas Rangers report.

A witness, Adolfo Hernández, explained that his nephew was in a nearby class when Ramos started firing shots. “He witnessed his little friend get shot in the face,” he said. “He got hit in the nose and he just fell to the ground, and my nephew was shattered.”

Uvalde’s is the umpteenth massacre so far this year in the United States. Just 11 days ago, the previous major incident was recorded, when another 18-year-old entered a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in an area with a high concentration of African-Americans, and killed 10 people and injured three others, in a crime with racist motivations.

Such is the outrage over this always-open debate in the US that former Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke indignantly interrupted Abbott’s press conference, at which Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn were also present. “This is completely predictable,” shouted O’Rourke, the current gubernatorial candidate. O’Rourke was escorted out.

Visibly affected and tired of dealing with situations that are already common in the day-to-day life of Americans, President Biden asked to confront the lobby of the arms industry after the Texas massacre. “Why do we accept to live with this kind of massacres? Why do we let this continue to happen? It is time for us to turn this pain into action,” he said in a message to the nation.

Biden, returning from a 17-hour plane ride from Asia, made no secret of his boredom. “Another massacre at a Texas elementary school. Beautiful, innocent children,” he said, visibly moved. “I’m sick and tired of this. We have to act. And don’t tell me that we can’t have an impact on these carnage,” in addition to calling for “courage” to stand up to the powerful arms industry and its multimillion-dollar profits.

The US president wondered “why this kind of massacre hardly happens anywhere else in the world. Why?”, nations where there are also “mental problems, domestic disputes, where people are lost”, but where they do not have to deal with these situations as frequently as in the first world power. “Losing a child,” he noted, “is like having your soul ripped out, a hole in your chest that you feel swallows you and you can’t get out, suffocates you.”

Biden recalled the massacre at the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut almost 10 years ago. Since then, he noted, there have been 900 school shootings, sending a clear message to lawmakers to act and toughen gun sales laws at the federal level.

From Air Force One, Biden ordered flags to be flown at half-staff for the victims, a tragedy that prompted an immediate reaction from Vice President Kamala Harris. “Enough is enough,” said the Californian. “Our hearts continue to break. We have to act,” she along the same lines as the president.

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