Texas gunman warned online he was going to shoot up school

The Uvalde school gunman warned on social media that he was going to shoot up a school minutes before the massacre took place.

Gov. Greg Abbott says 18-year-old Salvador Ramos used an AR-15 in the bloodbath on Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

About 30 minutes beforehand, Ramos made three social media posts. According to the governor, Ramos posted that he was going to shoot his grandmother, then that he had shot the woman, and finally that he was going to shoot up an elementary school.

READ MORE: What we know about the victims of the Uvalde massacre

Seventeen people were also injured in the attack.

Abbott said Ramos had no known criminal or mental health history.

"Evil swept across Uvalde yesterday," Abbott said.

What we know about the shooter

The shooter had one rifle when he entered the school, along with the tactical vest carrier and "numerous rounds of ammunition," Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Chris Olivarez said Wednesday (Thursday morning AEST).

While authorities previously indicated the gunman wore body armour, Olivarez said Wednesday morning his vest did not contain ballistic panels.

"Typically those type of carriers are used by tactical teams, SWAT teams, where they can place magazines, extra ammunition inside those carriers and be able to move in a tactical formation," he said.

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A state trooper walks past the Robb Elementary School sign in Uvalde, Texas, following a deadly shooting at the school.

Ramos had stopped regularly attending school at Uvalde High School, one of his former classmates told CNN. "He barely came to school," said the friend, who did not wish to be identified. Ramos had recently sent him a picture of an AR-15, a backpack with rounds of ammunition and several gun magazines, the friend added.

"I was like, 'Bro, why do you have this?' and he was like, 'Don't worry about it,'" the friend said. "He proceeded to text me, 'I look very different now. You wouldn't recognise me.'"

The shooter also sent ominous Instagram messages to another user hours before the shooting, screenshots show.

Three days before the attack, an account linked to the shooter posted a photo of two rifles lying on a carpet in a story that tagged another Instagram account by name. The owner of the tagged account wrote in a story posted after the shooting that Ramos had tagged her and messaged her out of the blue.

READ MORE: America reels from yet another mass shooting

Equipment from the San Antonio Fire Department is parked outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

The girl, who did not include her name on her account and has since made her account private, posted a series of screenshots of messages she said she exchanged with the shooter in the days before the massacre.

In one message that appeared to be sent the morning of the shooting, Ramos wrote "I'm about to" – but didn't say what he would do. "I got a lil secret," he wrote in another message. "I wanna tell u."

In messages posted to her story before it went private, the girl said that she didn't live in Texas and didn't know Ramos.

Ramos worked at a local store of US burger chain Wendy's, the restaurant's manager, Adrian Mendes, confirmed to CNN.

Ramos "kept to himself mostly," said Mendes, an evening manager. He "didn't really socialise with the other employees. … He just worked, got paid, and came in to get his cheque."

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