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‘He kept getting worse and worse’: Uvalde gunman developed morbid fascinations as family life deteriorated
Friends grew increasingly concerned about the behavior of an 18-year-old who gunned down at least 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school, but they were still shocked to learn of his brutal actions.
Salvador Rolando Ramos shot and critically wounded his grandmother before going on a rampage at Robb Elementary School with weapons he legally purchased this month, just after turning 18 years old, before he was fatally shot by police, and former friends struggled to process the news after the shooter's identity went public, reported the Washington Post.
“I couldn’t even think, I couldn’t even talk to anyone," said Stephen Garcia, who had been Ramos' best friend in eighth grade. "I just walked out of class, really upset, you know, bawling my eyes out, because I never expected him to hurt people.”
“I think he needed mental help," Garcia added, "and more closure with his family, and love.”
Ramos was frequently bullied by classmates for his stutter and pronounced lisp, said Garcia, who moved to another part of Texas when his mother relocated for her job.
“He just started being a different person,” Garcia said. “He kept getting worse and worse, and I don’t even know.”
Ramos dropped out of school, started wearing all black clothing and military boots, and longtime friend Santos Valdez Jr. noticed similar changes, such as the time he showed up to a park to play basketball with cuts all over his face, which he initially blamed on a cat.
“Then he told me the truth, that he’d cut up his face with knives over and over and over,” Valdez said. “I was like, ‘You’re crazy, bro, why would you do that?’”
Ramos told him he'd done it for fun, and Valdez said Ramos drove around sometimes at night with another friend and shot at random people with a BB gun and egged cars, and he started posting photos of automatic rifles on social media -- including a pair posted four days ago -- and accounts of his troubled home life.
“He posted videos on his Instagram where the cops were there and he’d call his mom a b*tch and say she wanted to kick him out,” said classmate Nadia Reyes. “He’d be screaming and talking to his mom really aggressively.”
Multiple individuals close to the family, including Reyes, told the newspaper that Ramos' mother used drugs, and he had moved to his grandmother's home several months ago, and the grandmother was in the process of evicting the mother from a home that she rented to her.
Police suspect a fire that broke out at a Wyoming abortion clinic was intentionally set, the Casper Star Tribune reports.
The blaze was ignited at around 4am at the Wellspring Health Access in Casper.
"This was intentional," Wellspring founder Julie Burkhart told the Star-Tribune, adding that it's uncertain if the fire will delay the clinic's opening date.
"This world seems to be encased in violence," she added.
A witness told police that they saw someone running away from the building around the time the fire started.
Wellspring announced it would open the clinic this past April, which would have made it just the second location in the entire state to offer abortions, and the first to offer surgical abortions.
This has made it a magnet for anti-abortion demonstrators in the area, although those demonstrations against the clinic had remained peaceful.
The suspected arson at the clinic comes as the United States Supreme Court is poised to overturn decades of legal precedent by reversing the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made getting an abortion a legal right in the United States.
A leaked draft of the opinion, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, reportedly has the support of five Supreme Court justices.
Uvalde Massacre Reignites National Gun Control Debate | RawStory.TV Uvalde Massacre Reignites National Gun Control Debate | RawStory.TV