The pro-gun Republican congressman representing Uvalde, who has come under fire this week for dodging questions on gun control and for previously boasting about opposing gun legislation, claimed on Friday morning that he had received “new information” that school shooter Salvador Ramos was arrested four years ago for threatening to shoot up a school.
But that claim is false, authorities confirmed Friday.
“This wasn’t hearsay. I got this late last night: ‘The shooter was arrested years ago, four years ago, for having this plan for basically saying, for saying, you know, when I’m a senior in 2022, I am going to shoot up a school,’” Rep. Tony Gonzales told Fox News. “Something fell between the cracks between then and now to allow this to happen. We need to shake out all the facts.”
He appeared to be describing a well-publicized 2018 incident in which two Morales Junior High students, aged 13 and 14, were taken into juvenile custody after school officials uncovered a detailed plan to carry out a school shooting in 2022, which would be their senior year at Uvalde High School.
But on Friday, Steven C. McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said there were “no links” between that investigation and the mass shooting at Robb Elementary.
The spouse of Christopher Kindell, the Texas state trooper who investigated the 2018 case, also told The Daily Beast on Friday that Gonzales “got his shit so wrong."
Kindell investigated “thousands of cases” and would have remembered if Ramos’ name came up, she said, adding that Gonzales’ claim was “ridiculous.”
Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin also reported that the Texas Department of Public told him Gonzales was incorrect. Two juveniles were indeed arrested over the plot in 2018 but Ramos was not one of them.
Gonzales later took to Twitter to say it was “now unclear if the shooter was one of the two kids detained”—but he still doubled down on his claim that mental health is the biggest concern.
“If this was not the shooter, we need to find out who these kids are, where they are now, and if they were classmates of the shooter,” he said. “There is a clear need for mental health resources in our community.”
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