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Mother of Texas gunman says son was 'not a monster,' could be 'aggressive'

ABC News logo ABC News 5/26/2022
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The mother of the 18-year-old gunman accused of killing 21 at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, this week told ABC News in an interview that her son was "not a monster," but that he could "be aggressive."

"I had an uneasy feeling sometimes, like 'what are you up to?" Adriana Reyes told ABC News' Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman in an interview at her home. "He can be aggressive... If he really got mad."

MORE: Texas school shooting suspect's grandfather speaks out

Reyes' son, accused shooter Salvador Ramos, allegedly purchased two assault rifles in the days after he turned 18 and used them to carry out the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history -- all within a span of eight days, authorities said.

Twenty-one people, including 19 third- and fourth-grade children, were killed in the attack, law enforcement officials said. Two teachers were killed, as well. Another 17 people were wounded, including three law enforcement officers. Ramos' grandmother, who police say was the accused gunman's first victim, is hospitalized in stable condition.

MORE: Texas school shooting live updates: Gunman sent Facebook messages before shooting Some of the people who died on May 24, 2022 at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in a mass shooting. © Courtesy the Families Some of the people who died on May 24, 2022 at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in a mass shooting.

"We all have a rage, that some people have it more than others," Reyes said.

Reyes expressed sympathy for the children who were killed and the parents who lost them multiple times during the interview, but said she was not aware that her son had been buying the weapons.

MORE: What we know about the victims of the Texas school shooting in Uvalde so far People become emotional at the City of Uvalde Town Square during a prayer vigil in the wake of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. © Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images People become emotional at the City of Uvalde Town Square during a prayer vigil in the wake of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.

"Those kids… I have no words," Reyes said through tears. "I don't know what to say about those poor kids."

Some classmates told ABC News that Ramos was known for fighting and threatening fellow students. They said he exhibited increasingly disturbing behavior over the past two years, threatening at least one classmate and stalking others, and that he claimed to have cut scars into his face.

MORE: Timeline: How the shooting at a Texas elementary school unfolded

Ramos is accused of shooting his grandmother at their home in Uvalde before driving his grandparents' car to Robb Elementary School and opening fire.

"Anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face has to have evil in his heart," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said during a press conference Wednesday. "But it is far more evil for someone to gun down little kids."

Law enforcement shared this photo of 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a student at Uvalde High School, who has been identified as the alleged gunman in the Robb Elementary School shooting on May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. © Obtained by ABC News Law enforcement shared this photo of 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a student at Uvalde High School, who has been identified as the alleged gunman in the Robb Elementary School shooting on May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.
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