A fourth grader who survived the mass shooting at his Texas elementary school recalled the harrowing moment teenage gunman Salvador Ramos stormed into his classroom and issued a chilling warning to students.
‘He came in and he crouched a little bit and he said, he said, ‘It’s time to die,” the unnamed Robb Elementary School student told KENS 5 on Wednesday.
‘When I heard the shooting through the door, I told my friend to hide under something so he won’t find us,’ the boy said. ‘I was hiding hard. And I was telling my friend to not talk because he is going to hear us.’
The little boy and four others hid under a cloth-covered table while Ramos, 18, opened fire into the classroom, killing 19 students and two teachers. Seventeen others were injured.
Authorities say it is unclear why the teen targeted the school. He had no criminal history or known mental illnesses.
He had gotten in a fight with his grandmother about who would pay the phone bill before he went on his killing spree, law enforcement officials disclosed to CBS News. However, they note that information is preliminary and are not sure if the fight was the trigger for the massacre.
A fourth grader (pictured) who survived the mass shooting at his Texas elementary school recalled the harrowing moment teenage gunman Salvador Ramos stormed into his classroom and issued a chilling warning to students
The fourth grader claims Ramos stormed into their classroom after shooting at another door in the school.
‘He shot the next person’s door. We have a door in the middle. He opened it,’ the boy said, adding that Ramos then told the students they would die.
The unnamed student claims Salvador Ramos (pictured) stormed into the classroom and said: ‘It’s time to die’
He and four others took cover under a table, which some experts argue shielded them from Ramos’ view and saved their lives.
‘When the cops came, the cop said: ‘Yell if you need help!’ And one of the persons in my class said ‘help.’ The guy overheard and he came in and shot her,’ the boy said.
‘The cop barged into that classroom. The guy shot at the cop. And the cops started shooting.’
The boy said they remained hidden until the gunfire ceased.
‘I just opened the curtain. And I just put my hand out,’ he said. ‘I got out with my friend. I knew it was police. I saw the armor and the shield.’
He also alleged his teachers, Irma Garcia, 46, and Eva Mireles, 44, sacrificed themselves to protect their students.
‘They were nice teachers,’ he said. ‘They went in front of my classmates to help. To save them.’
The little boy also issued a warning to other American families, saying: ‘I would like to say to every kid and parent to be safe.’
Ramos used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle in the bloodbath Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. He had legally bought two such rifles just days before the attack, soon after his 18th birthday, authorities said.
One of the guns was purchased at a federally licensed dealer in the Uvalde area on May 17, according to state Sen. John Whitmire, who was briefed by investigators. Ramos bought 375 rounds of ammunition the next day, then purchased the second rifle last Friday.
On Tuesday morning, Ramos shot and wounded his grandmother at her home, then left. Neighbors called police when she staggered outside and they saw she had been shot in the face, Department of Public Safety spokesperson Travis Considine said.
Ramos then crashed his truck through a railing on the grounds at Robb Elementary School and an Uvalde school district officer exchanged fire with him and was wounded.
The teen went inside and exchanged more gunfire with two arriving Uvalde police officers, who were still outside, Considine said. Those officers were also wounded.
Irma Garcia (left) and Eva Mireles (right), who co-taught fourth grade, were both shot and killed at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday. The little boy claims they sacrificed themselves to protect their students
The little boy and four others hid under a cloth-covered table while Ramos, 18, opened fire into the classroom, killing 19 students and two teachers. Seventeen others were injured. The school is pictured on Wednesday surrounded by investigators and crime scene tape
Meanwhile, frustrated onlookers were urging police to enter the building as Ramos went on his killing spree.
One woman was yelling at the police outside the school, recalled Juan Carranza, 24, who lives opposite the building.
He told ABC News she was screaming: ‘Go in there! Go in there!’
But noted, the officers did not enter the building.
Jacinto Cazares, whose 10-year-old daughter Jacklyn was among the 21 killed, has demanded to know why Ramos was able to rampage through the school for 90 minutes until he was shot dead.
The first 911 call was received 90 minutes earlier, at 11:30am, saying a man had emerged from a crashed vehicle with a long rifle and a backpack.
‘There was at least 40 lawmen armed to the teeth but didn’t do a darn thing until it was far too late,’ Cazares he told the news outlet. ‘The situation could’ve been over quick if they had better tactical training, and we as a community witnessed it firsthand.’
Cazares said he wanted answers from local authorities as to why the shooter was not stopped before or during the attack.
‘I’m a gun owner and I do not blame the weapons used in this tragedy,’ he said. ‘I’m angry how easy it is to get one and young you can be to purchase one.’
Jacinto Cazares, whose 10-year-old daughter Jacklyn was killed in the Uvalde school shooting on Tuesday, is pictured on Wednesday outside the school
Jacklyn, 10, was one of 19 children and two teachers murdered by Ramos on Tuesday
Guns are the leading cause of death for US kids, data shows
Gun violence is now the leading killer of America’s children, surpassing accidents, disease and even drug overdose, a report published last month found.
Researchers at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, write that over 4,300 children aged one to 19 years old died of a firearm related injury during the pandemic’s first year – a 30 percent jump from the previous year.
2020 was the first year that gun violence overtook vehicle crashes as a leading killer.
Gun violence is now the leading killer off American youth, a research report finds, surpassing motor vehicle crashes (file photo)
The researchers, who published their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine on in April, found that there was a record 45,222 firearm deaths in 2020.
Overall there was a 13.5 percent jump in firearm deaths, including a 33 percent jump in gun-related homicides year-to-year.
Suicides carried out by using firearms also increased one percent, remaining around even year-to-year.
The data also showed that just around six out of every 100,000 U.S. children died a fire alarm related death in 2020, surpassing a the five of every 100,000 children that died from the motor vehicle accident.
A teacher, whose students were watching a Disney movie as part of their end-of-year celebration when Ramos stormed the building, shared how her class took cover under their desks after they were alerted of his presence.
The teacher, who spoke to NBC News on the condition of anonymity, recalled how her students did ‘exactly as they were told’.
‘They’ve been practicing for this day for years,’ she said, referencing active shooter drills that have become standard in American schools.
‘They knew this wasn’t a drill. We knew we had to be quiet or else we were going to give ourselves away.’
The educator, detailing what was the ‘longest 35 minutes of my life,’ said her students tried to stay quiet as their wounded schoolmates screamed from a classroom down the hall.
Sitting on the floor in the middle of the room, the teacher said she tried to be strong.
Several students started crying and she motioned for them to come sit by her and, in a whisper, told the class to pray silently.
She said she was trying to convey a message of ‘you’re ok, we’re going to be ok’ without speaking.
After the shooting, when police approached the classroom and broke the windows, she called for her students to assemble in a line.
She held their hands as they climbed out the window and into the safety of authorities.
‘After the last kid, I turned around to ensure everyone was out,’ the teacher said. ‘I knew I had to go quickly, but I wasn’t leaving until I knew for sure.’
Afterwards, she reportedly received messages from parents thanking her for protecting their children.
‘Thank you for keeping my baby safe,’ one message read.
‘But it’s not just their baby,’ the teacher told NBC News through her tears.
‘That’s my baby, too. They are not my students. They are my children.’
Before concluding the interview, which she had been reluctant to give, the educator reportedly said: ‘I want you to say this in your article. Our children did not deserve this. They were loved. Not only by their families, but their family at school.’
Salvador Ramos legally purchased two AR-15 style rifles (right) including the one he used in Tuesday’s attack after his 18th birthday last week. The gunman also bought more than 300 rounds of ammunition
Ramos bought two AR-15 assault rifles, bragged about them on social media and suggested he would commit an atrocity before the deadly attack. He spent an estimated $4,000 on the weapons, ammunition and a tactical-style vest
Dillon Silva, whose nephew was in a nearby classroom, said students were watching the Disney movie ‘Moana’ when they heard several loud pops and a bullet shattered a window. Moments later, their teacher saw the attacker stride past.
‘Oh, my God, he has a gun!’ the teacher shouted twice, according to Silva. ‘The teacher didn’t even have time to lock the door,’ he said.
The killing spree ceased after a tactical team forced its way into the classroom where the attacker was holed up. The team was met with gunfire from Ramos but shot and killed him.
Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in the attack.
The massacre came as the school was counting down to the last days of the school year with a series of themed days. Tuesday was to be ‘Footloose and Fancy,’ with students wearing nice outfits.
Texas, which has some of the most gun-friendly laws in the nation, has been the site of some of the deadliest shootings in the U.S. over the past five years. In 2018, a gunman killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area.
A year before that, a gunman shot more than two dozen people to death during a Sunday service in the small town of Sutherland Springs. In 2019, a gunman at a Walmart in El Paso killed 23 people in a racist attack targeting Hispanics.
The shooting came days before the National Rifle Association annual convention was set to begin in Houston. The governor and both of Texas’ U.S. senators, all of whom are Republicans, were among the scheduled speakers at a forum Friday.
Victims of Uvalde school shooting
The shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas left 19 students and two teachers dead. Here are the victims that have been identified so far:
Fourth grader Alithia Ramirez (at left) was confirmed dead early Wednesday by her father, Ryan Ramirez, who shared a post to Facebook showing the 10-year-old with angel’s wings. He had used the same photo the previous day as he pleaded for help finding her after the massacre. Jaliah Nicole Silguero (at right) was also confirmed as one of the victims early Wednesday, with her mother Veronica Luevanos also sharing a memorial post saying saying she was ‘heartbroken’ over the loss
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos (at left), who appears to be Jaliah’s cousin based on posts shared by the family, was confirmed as one of the dead Wednesday by his aunt. ‘Still can’t believe that we’re never gonna see you again,’ she wrote on Facebook. Amerie Jo Garza (pictured at right with her father, Angel Garza) was confirmed dead by her dad Wednesday. The grieving parent captioned the post: ‘My little love is now flying high with the angels above’
Uziyah Garcia, nine, (left) and Makenna Elrod, 10, (right) were both confirmed dead by loved ones on Facebook
Xavier Lopez, 10, (left) and Eliahana Torres, 10, (right) was also killed at the school shooting on Tuesday
Ellie Lugo (left) and Nevaeh Bravo (right) were also killed. Ellie was reported as missing for several hours before her parents confirmed her death
Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10, and Rogelio Torres, right, were also killed
Irma Garcia (left) and Eva Mireles (right), who co-taught fourth grade, were both shot and killed at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday