Salvador Ramos, the shooter in the Uvalde, Texas massacre frequently threatened to rape and kill teen girls, and had a history of aggressive behavior and disturbing social-media posts, according to locals.
"I witnessed him harass girls and threaten them with sexual assault, like rape and kidnapping," one 16-year-old told the Washington Post, adding that Ramos had been posting on social networking app, Yubo.
"It was not like a single occurrence. It was frequent."
All but one of the girls Ramos threatened reported him in the months leading up to last week's elementary school shooting, which left 19 children dead. Other girls dismissed Ramos' disturbing behavior, chalking it up to just "how online is."
On Yubo, people can gather in big real-time chatrooms, known as panels, to talk, type messages and share videos — the digital equivalent of a real-world hangout. Ramos, they said, struck up side conversations with them and followed them onto other platforms, including Instagram, where he could send direct messages whenever he wanted.
But over time they saw a darker side, as he posted images of dead cats, texted them strange messages and joked about sexual assault, they said. In a video from a live Yubo chatroom that listeners had recorded and was reviewed by The Post, Ramos could be heard saying, “Everyone in this world deserves to get raped.” -WaPo
Ten days before the shooting, he wrote "10 more days," according to a Texas official. Another person replied: "Are you going to shoot up a school or something?" to which Ramos replied: "No, stop asking dumb questions. You’ll see."
In one Instagram exchange, Ramos – who went by the username "TheBiggestOpp," sent a girl a picture of a gun.
In another exchange, a 16-year-old girl who said she met Ramos in February said he replied to a meme she'd posted that referenced a weapon, saying "personally I wouldn’t use a AK-47," rather "a better gun."
"He gave me such an odd vibe," 17-year-old Crystal Foutz, an Uvalde High School junior, told the Wall Street Journal, adding "He always seemed scary."
Ramos posted pictures on Instagram of him cutting himself, with blood in a sink, Ms. Vasquez said. Earlier this year, she said, he showed up to school one day with a mask on, and when he took it off, his face had scars and scratches that he said he had inflicted on himself.
A screenshot of an Instagram story on an account linked to him, which since has been taken down, showed an ammunition magazine. A TikTok account with the same handle, “@salv8dor_,” which also has been removed, showed a photo of two rifles. The account included in its description the line, “Kids be scared.” -WSJ
Ramos' mother, Adriana Reyes, said last week that the 18-year-old "was not a monster," but could become "aggressive."
"Sometimes I had an uncomfortable feeling, like ‘what are you doing?’," she told ABC, adding "He could become aggressive if he got really angry. (…). We all have rabies, but some people have more than others."