Videos of Texas school shooter Salvador Ramos have surfaced as new reporting shows that the teenager frequently made threats on social media.
Ramos told young women and girls that he was going to rape them while also showing off a rifle he purchased. On livestreams on the social media app Yubo, he threatened to shoot up schools, users who saw the threats in the last few weeks have said, CNN and The Washington Postreported.
On Tuesday 24 May, Ramos shot and killed 21 people – 19 children and two teachers – at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Ramos was killed by law enforcement.
The users who witnessed the threats said they didn’t believe them to be authentic until they saw the news of the shooting.
Three Yubo users said they saw Ramos threaten sexual violence as well as school shootings. The users said they filed reports concerning Ramos’ account following the threats but it appears as if Ramos’s account remained active.
“We are deeply saddened by this unspeakable loss and are fully cooperating with law enforcement on their investigation,” Yubo told CNN in a statement. The app Yubo is “investigating an account that has since been banned from the platform”.
Yubo says 99 per cent of its 60 million global users are under the age of 25.
Amanda Robbins, 19, told CNN that after she rejected Ramos’s advances during a livestream, he threatened to break down her door and rape and murder her. She added that she saw him make similar threats of “acts of sexual assault and violence” against other girls.
Ms Robbins said she reported Ramos’ account. She said Yubo “said if you see any behaviour that’s not okay, they said to report it. But they’ve done nothing”.
“That kid was allowed to be online and say this,” she added.
Users said they didn’t take Ramos’ threats seriously because of the common occurrence of online trolling on the app.
Hannah, 18, from Ontario, Canada said she reported Ramos in April after he threatened to shoot up her school and rape and kill her and her mother during a livestream. She told CNN that Ramos returned to the platform after a temporary ban. She added that Ramos at one point angled his webcam to show a firearm on his bed.
A 15-year-old girl from Germany who received texts from Ramos shortly before the shooting said she thought his violent threats were not serious.
After the shooting, she said, “I added everything up and it made sense now... I was just too dumb to notice all the signals he was giving”.
Other girls and young women told The Washington Post that they rarely reported Ramos as his threats weren’t clear. Some said they thought this was simply how teen boys spoke online. The mix of anger and misogyny was commonplace. One girl told the paper that’s just “how online is”.
The young women said Ramos posted images of dead cats and sent them odd messages as well as joking about sexual assault.
“Everyone in this world deserves to get raped,” Ramos once said in a Yubo chatroom, according to the report.
“I witnessed him harass girls and threaten them with sexual assault, like rape and kidnapping,” a teenage boy told The Post. “It was not like a single occurrence. It was frequent.”
“As there is an ongoing and active investigation and because this information concerns a specific individual’s data, we are not legally able to share these details publicly at this time,” Yubo spokeswoman Amy Williams told the paper regarding if the company received reports about Ramos’ account.
Ten days ahead of the 24 May shooting, he wrote “10 more days” in a message, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety official.
“Are you going to shoot up a school or something?” one user asked Ramos.
“No, stop asking dumb questions. You’ll see,” he said.
One girl who wished to remain anonymous told the Post that she saw Ramos tell someone, “shut up before I shoot you,” but that it wasn’t out of the ordinary because “kids joke around like that”.
She added that he suggested that something was going to happen on 24 May to at least three girls.
“I’ll tell you before 11. It’s our little secret,” she said he said on several occasions. On the morning of 24 May, he sent an image of two rifles.
“He would threaten everyone,” she said. “He would talk about shooting up schools but no one believed him, no one would think he would do it.”
A 16-year-old girl said Ramos reacted to a meme she posted, saying “personally I wouldn’t use a AK-47”, adding that he would use “a better gun” such as an AR-15 – the kind of weapon police have said he used in the shooting.