Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

‘He was very quiet’: Salvador Ramos’s grandfather describes troubled teen and hidden guns

Ramos allegedly shot 66-year-old grandmother before school massacre

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Wednesday 25 May 2022 20:19 BST
Stephen Colbert opens his show with Texas massacre monologue
Leer en Español

The grandfather of the Texas school shooter accused of killing 19 children and two teachers in the town of Uvalde says he didn’t know Salvador Ramos had high-powered assault rifles at home.

“I didn’t know he had weapons,” Rolando Reyes told ABC News. “If I’d have known, I would have reported it.”

Ramos, 18, shot his 66-year-old grandmother in the head before stealing the family’s car and heading to Robb Elementary School.

“It still hasn’t sunk in,“ Mr Reyes said.

Ramos’s grandmother, believed to be 66-year-old Celia Martinez, is in serious condition but alive.

The teen had been staying with grandparents after a falling out with his mother, according to the family. He spent most of his time alone in his room, playing video games.

“He was very quiet, he didn’t talk very much,” Mr Reyes said.

The grandfather said he would sometimes take Ramos to work with him, as the teen frequently missed school and wasn’t set to graduate.

Mr Reyes, who has a previous criminal record, told ABC he’s not legally allowed to be around guns, and that he also hates seeing the violence they bring in mass shootings around the country.

“I hate when I see all the news of all those people that get shot, I’m against all that. I say, ‘Why do they let these people buy guns and all that?” he said.

Rolando Reyes, grandfather of Salvador Ramos, said he was unaware the 18-year-old had guns at home. (ABC News)

Ramos turned 18 this month, and legally purchased two military-style “AR platform rifles”, as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition, according to Texas State Senator John Whitemire of Houston, who was briefed by state police.

His grandmother had recently taken him to an Applebee’s restaurant to celebrate the birthday.

Friends and family members paint a picture of Ramos as a troubled teenager, frequently bullied at school for his strong lisp and prone to fits of aggression against fellow students and family members.

“He would get bullied hard, like bullied by a lot of people,” Stephen Garcia, a close friend of Ramos’s in junior high, told The Washington Post. “Over social media, over gaming, over everything...He was the nicest kid, the most shyest kid. He just needed to break out of his shell.”

The teen got in a number of fistfights and school, and had numerous heated altercations with his mother.

“He posted videos on his Instagram where the cops were there and he’d call his mom a b**** and say she wanted to kick him out,” Nadia Reyes, a high school classmate, told the Post. “He’d be screaming and talking to his mom really aggressively.”

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in