(UVALDE, Texas) — The grandfather of the accused gunman in Tuesday’s deadly shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, said he did not know that his grandson had recently purchased two AR-15-style rifles.
“I don’t like weapons. I cannot be around weapons,” Rolando Reyes, 72, told ABC News’ Matt Gutman. “I hate when I see all the news, all those people that get shot.”
Reyes also said he has a criminal background and cannot have a weapon in the home. He would have reported the weapons to authorities had he known about them, Reyes added.
The suspect, Salvador Ramos, turned 18 on May 16 and purchased the rifles on May 17 and May 20, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Ramos is accused of shooting his grandmother at their home in Uvalde before driving his grandparents’ car to Robb Elementary School and opening fire, killing 19 students and two teachers. Ramos was shot and killed by law enforcement, authorities said. His grandmother is hospitalized in critical condition.
Reyes said he learned from a neighbor that his wife had been shot and that his grandson “had taken off.”
“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said.
The suspect had been staying with his grandparents for the past few months after having a falling out with his mother, Reyes said.
Reyes said there were no signs the morning of the shooting that anything unusual was going to happen. The suspect had a minor argument with his grandmother over the payment of a phone bill but nothing significant, Reyes said.
Reyes described his grandson as very quiet. Ramos did not go to school this past year, according to Reyes, who said he would take his grandson to work with him sometimes.
Classmates at Uvalde High School told ABC News that Ramos rarely attended school and recently had been exhibiting unusual behavior, such as threatening classmates and claiming to have cut scars into his face.
His grandson did not know how to drive and did not have a driver’s license, said Reyes, who said he was unsure how Ramos had purchased the weapons.
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