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Texas shooter struggled with mental health, family dysfunction, was fascinated with guns

Photo of Uvalde, Texas gunman 18-year-old Salvador Rolando Ramos.
Photo of Uvalde, Texas gunman 18-year-old Salvador Rolando Ramos.
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The nation experienced one of its deadliest mass shootings this week, allegedly perpetrated by a disaffected youth who was plagued by family dysfunction and mental health struggles.

Salvador Rolando Ramos, 18, was said to be a high school dropout fascinated with guns. After turning 18, Ramos immediately bought a rifle which he later used to murder at least 21 people, 19 of which were elementary-age school children, according to The Washington Post.

Former friends and family of Ramos say he stopped showing up to school after the pandemic, adding that Ramos experienced bullying for his lisp and for sometimes wearing makeup. Classmates noted that after Ramos stopped showing up to school his larger, stocky figure had dwindled to a skinny, fragile one.

I think he just didn’t feel comfortable anymore at school," his cousin Mia told The Post.

Ramos was described by former classmates and friends as initially being “nice,” “quiet” and “shy," but when that changed several of Ramos's friends indicated they backed away from their friendship with him.

Santos Valdez Jr, one of Ramos’s early childhood friends, told The Post he lost touch when Ramos’s behavior started to deteriorate.

One time, when the two met up at a park where they used to play basketball, Ramos showed up with cuts all over his face. When asked by Valdez where the cuts had come from, Ramos initially said a cat had scratched him.

Then he told me the truth, that he’d cut up his face with knives over and over and over," Valdez said, indicating Ramos eventually told him he did it for fun.

Valdez also recalled to The Post that Ramos used to shoot random people with a BB gun and egg cars. Ramos frequently got into fistfights at school as well, one of his classmates said.

Prior to turning 18, Ramos would post photos online of firearms that were on “his wish list,” according to Valdez. Once Ramos obtained his own guns, he then started posting pictures of them on social media.

All the while, Ramos’s family life was also reportedly crumbling, much like his social life.

Two months ago, Ramos posted an Instagram story video in which he could be heard screaming at his mother, who had a substance abuse problem, according to The Post.

He posted videos on his Instagram where the cops were there and he’d call his mom a b—ch and say she wanted to kick him out," said a classmate of Ramos who saw the video. "He’d be screaming and talking to his mom really aggressively."

According to neighbors who spoke with the Post, it was not uncommon to see the police at Ramos’s house.

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“I think he needed mental help. And more closure with his family. And love,” said Stephen Garcia, who considered himself Ramos’s best friend in middle school.

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