The sister of the Uvalde gunman “flatly refused” to buy him a weapon when he asked her to last year, a top Texas police official said.
Salvador Ramos, 18, eventually bought himself two assault rifles after turning 18 earlier this month that he used to murder 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school.
But the Texas Department of Public Safety’s director told a news conference on Friday that the suspect had previously tried to obtain weapons while he was still 17.
“We know that by his digital footprint that Ramos asked his sister to help him buy a gun, she flatly refused, that was in September 2021,” said Colonel Steven McCraw.
Ramos was shot and killed by officers inside the school on Tuesday after entering the building through an unlocked door, police say.
Investigators say they found 142 fired rounds inside the school, along with 173 live rounds of ammunition.
The gunman had a total of 60 magazines with him, including 31 magazines that he left in a backpack that he did not bring into the school.
Before carrying out the massacre, Ramos shot his grandmother in the face because he had been arguing with her about the wifi bill. She is alive but her condition is reportedly serious.
Parents have been furious at the pace of the police response to the shooting. It took officers more than an hour from their initial contact to ultimately break into the classroom where Ramos was barricaded and fatally shoot him.
Video shows parents and officers clashing outside the school as the shooting unfolded.
The Texas state police are investigating the police response to the shooting, and US Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas has asked the FBI to probe their tactics as well.