Before he committed the third-deadliest school shooting in American history, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos cultivated an online persona that gravitated toward harassment and violent threats.
According to multiple press reports, Ramos repeatedly threatened users on the social media app Yubo, a service based in France that lets multiple people livestream simultaneously.
“I witnessed him harass girls and threaten them with sexual assault, like rape and kidnapping,” one teenage user told The Washington Post. “It was not like a single occurrence. It was frequent.”
The Washington Post reported reviewing a video from a live Yubo chat room which was recorded in which Ramos could be heard saying, “Everyone in this world deserves to get raped.”
Another 18-year-old user named Hannah told CNN that Ramos “threatened to shoot up her school and rape and kill her and her mother during one livestream session” on Yubo. She reported him, she said, but after serving “a temporary ban” he was permitted to continue using the app.
Ramos’ online activity has also offered chilling context to his mindset on the day of the mass shooting. That morning, he cryptically messaged a teenager in Germany he had met on Yubo that he planned to do something—the details were vague—but was waiting for his grandfather to leave his house.
He then griped about his grandmother, whom he referred to as “this bitch,” saying she was speaking with AT&T about his phone and that it was “annoying.”
Just minutes later, Ramos messaged, “I just shot my grandma in her head.”
“Ima go shoot up an elementary school,” he continued.
In a now well-documented tragedy, Ramos then drove toward Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where he crashed his truck before storming the building. As law enforcement lagged outside, he ultimately killed 21 people, including 19 children.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Yubo said that the company “cannot publicly share details on an individual user’s data” while law enforcement investigations remain ongoing, later clarifying that it was “company protocol” to do so.
“Yubo has a robust content reporting system managed by advanced artificial intelligence filters and live moderators working around the clock,” the statement continued. “Violations of Yubo guidelines are reviewed on a case-by-case basis with real-time intervention by moderators... We remain proactive in improving and developing safeguards to ensure user safety at the greatest extent possible.”
The popular app is now facing scrutiny over its content moderation practices and concerns about harassment.
According to the Post, Ramos posted worrying content like “images of dead cats” and references to guns, and he was known to make rape jokes. One user told the outlet that Ramos had “sent him a death threat” in January.
Not everyone took his statements at face value, but the Post reported that users reported his behavior “dozens of times.”
Sky News reported that Ramos had pursued a young woman on Yubo, messaging that he would “worship” her. Frustrated by her lack of response, he then told her to “go jump off a bridge” before allegedly tracking down her real life personal information.
“Hi,” he texted. “Are you going to ask how I got your number”
He continued: “Answer me… You’re going to regret not doing what I say.”
The Daily Beast was not able to independently confirm the account.
One user cited in the report said that users had assigned Ramos a nickname based on his erratic and creepy behavior: “Yubo’s school shooter.”
“He never tried to shut down that nickname, he seemed almost proud of it,” she said.