Uvalde Elementary School Shooter Posted Threatening Images Of Firearms On Instagram, Sent Cryptic Messages About Attack To Unidentified Random Woman; Shooter's Ideological Affiliation Unclear

print
May 24, 2022

In the late morning on May 24, 2022, a man entered an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where he opened fire on students and teachers. At the time of writing the number of victims stands at 15 reported dead and many more injured, and the shooter's identity is reported to be Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old who was also killed during the attack.

Ramos had active accounts on Instagram and TikTok. On his Instagram, Ramos shared images of two AR-15 style rifles, and on TikTok his bio read "Kids be scared irl." In the image of his firearms Ramos tagged a woman with whom he seemingly had no prior connection. The woman said she "barely" knows him. He also messaged the woman saying that she should "be grateful" he tagged her and that he had "a lil secret." He last messaged her less than half an hour before the shooting saying, "Ima air out." The Instagram and TikTok accounts were taken down in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

The following report is an overview of the attacker's Instagram and TikTok accounts. This is a developing story. The MEMRI DTTM is monitoring extremist reactions to the attack and will be releasing further reports in the coming days.

YOU MUST BE SUBSCRIBED TO THE MEMRI DOMESTIC TERRORISM THREAT MONITOR (DTTM) TO READ THE FULL REPORT. GOVERNMENT AND MEDIA CAN REQUEST A COPY BY WRITING TO [email protected] WITH THE REPORT TITLE IN THE SUBJECT LINE. 

Instagram

Ramos had an Instagram account. Prior to its removal the account had 211 followers, one post, and a story highlight. His bio reads: "TheBiggestOpp."

On April 28, he posted three photos to his Instagram story. The first photo is a selfie taken using a mirror, the second shows a blurry black and white photo of his face, and the third shows him holding an ammunition magazine on his lap.

On May 20, he shared a photo of two assault rifles to his Instagram story and tagged another Instagram user.

Ramos direct messaged the user before May 12 writing: "Hey." On May 12, he messaged again writing, "You gonna repost my gun pics?" On Friday, May 20 at 4:22 pm, Ramos mentioned her in his story that had included the photo of the assault rifles and her tagged username. The user replied, asking: "What your guns gotta do with me?" In a later message, the shooter wrote: "Be grateful I tagged you" to which she responded: "No, it's just scary fr... I barely know you and u tag me in a picture with some guns."

On May 23, Ramos sent her a message reading, "Hey... I'm about to" to which the other user replied: "what, about to what." In other messages, Ramos wrote: "I'll tell you before 11... I'll text you in an hour." He then wrote: "But you HAVE TO RESPOND I got a lil secret I wanna tell u." He added a shushing emoji. At 9:16 am on May 24, he wrote: "ima air out."

Following the shooting on May 24, the tagged user posted Instagram stories four minutes apart reading: "He's a stranger I know nothing about him he decided to tag me in his gun post. I'm so sorry for the victims and their families I really don't know what to say... 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."

TikTok

On TikTok, the shooter's bio stated: "Kids be scared irl." He had 246 followers and followed 46 individuals. His followers, following, and likes were locked and not available.

The full text of this post is available to DTTM subscribers.

If you are a subscriber, log in here to read this report.

For information on the required credentials to access this material, visit the DTTM subscription page

Subscribe to DTTM

Join U.S. and other Western government agencies and law enforcement, as well as leading businesses and business organizations, in subscribing to the MEMRI Domestic Terrorism Threat Monitor (DTTM) Project, for the latest alerts, updates, and reports on imminent and potential threats from around the world.

ONLY GOVERNMENT, MEDIA, AND ACADEMIA WITH FULL CREDENTIALS CAN REQUEST ACCESS TO DTTM REPORTS.

Subscribe to DTTM

The Cyber & Jihad Lab

The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

Read More