This story is part of a KXAN series of reports called “Stop Mass Shootings,” providing context and exploring solutions surrounding gun violence in the wake of the deadly Uvalde school shooting. We want our reports to be a resource for Texans, as well as for lawmakers who are convening a month after the events in Uvalde to discuss how the state should move forward. Explore all “Stop Mass Shootings” stories by clicking here.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The suspect in a Texas mass shooting that resulted in 19 students and two teachers dead talked about school shootings and guns via social media apps, the Texas Department of Public Safety Director, Steven McCraw, said during a news conference Friday.

“I want to correct something that was said early on in the investigation,” McCraw started, referring to Gov. Greg Abbott’s statements earlier this week that the shooter posted on Facebook prior to shooting and injuring his grandmother, and then again prior to entering the school. “That did not happen, it was actually on a message.”

McCraw walked through the suspect’s “digital footprint” for the first time Friday. He gave the following timeline:

  • Sept. 2021: The suspect asked his sister to help him buy a gun, she refused.
  • Feb. 2022: In a group of four people on Instagram messenger, “it was discussed that Ramos being a school shooter.”
  • March 2022: In a group of four people on Instagram messenger, “he discussed him buying a gun.”
  • March 2022: McCraw says in another four-person chat, someone messaged, “word on the street is you are buying a gun.” McCraw says the suspect responded: “Just bought something.”
  • March 2022: Suspect posted on Instagram saying, “10 more days.” Someone commented and said, “Are you going to shoot up a school or something?” The suspect replied, “No, and stop asking dumb questions and you’ll see.”

It is unclear at this point if the DPS director misspoke and listed March as the dates in which the suspect posted instead of May, which would better line up with the events of the shooting. KXAN has reached out to clarify.

McCraw also said they are looking into the possibility the suspect talked about violence in video game chat rooms.

“We’re looking at other people, absolutely, anybody who has been in contact, we’re looking at anything,” McCraw said. “People that may have known something … and may have been involved in some chatroom gaming along with him so there’s nobody that we’re not going to talk to and look at.”

The state of Texas does not currently have a red flag law, which generally allows law enforcement or family to petition a judge to remove someone’s guns for a period of time if that person is deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.

“We need everyone, when we have a threat to life like that to take it seriously and report it,” McCraw said.