How did the Uvalde shooter get a gun? Type of gun explored as US reels in the aftermath of Texas school shooting

Uvalde shooter Salvador Ramos purchased a gun on his 18th birthday (Image via @salv8dor_ / Instagram)
Uvalde shooter Salvador Ramos purchased a gun on his 18th birthday (Image via @salv8dor_ / Instagram)

On May 24, Uvalde elementary school experienced a mass shootout that left 19 children and two adults dead. Gunman Salvador Ramos reportedly carried two AR rifles, crashed his car outside the school and opened fire at the students and teachers.

Ramos later died of a gunshot wound during an altercation with law enforcement authorities. According to state Senator John Whitmire, the gunman legally purchased two AR platform rifles at a local federal firearms licensee on May 17 and May 20, respectively.


Meanwhile, Senator Ronald Gutierrez told CNN that Ramos bought the weapons on his 18th birthday:

“It's the first thing he did when he turned 18. (He) had no problem accessing those weapons.”

Prior to the shootout, Ramos reportedly shared images of the guns on his now-deleted Instagram account @salv8dor_ and tagged a stranger. He even left a few cryptic messages like “I’m about to,” “I got a lil secret,” and “Ima air out” on the stranger’s inbox.

The Uvalde shooter also fatally shot his grandmother Celia Martinez Gonzales prior to beginning his rampage at Robb Elementary School.

A look into the gun used in the Uvalde school shooting

Uvalde elementary school shooter used AR-15 rifles (Image via Texas DPS and salv8dor_/Instagram)
Uvalde elementary school shooter used AR-15 rifles (Image via Texas DPS and salv8dor_/Instagram)

In the wake of the Uvalde elementary school shooting, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw shared that gunman Salvador Ramos reportedly went to a local sporting goods store called Oasis Outback to buy a “semi-automatic rifle” exactly a week before his rampage.

According to The New York Post, McCraw mentioned that Ramos returned to buy 375 rounds of ammunition the next day and bought another Daniel Defense AR-style rifle two days later. Ramos faced no problems in legally purchasing the guns as he had no prior criminal record or mental health history.


As per ABC News, the guns Ramos bought typically retail for around $2,000. One of the shooter’s online post suggested that he also bought a battery-powered holographic sight that usually sells for around $725.

Shortly after the shooting, gun maker Daniel Defense wrote a blog post mentioning that the rifle used in the Ulvade elementary school shooting is known as a “DDM4 Rifle” and is modelled after .S. military’s “go-to rifle” called the M4 carbine.

It was also mentioned that Daniel Defense rifles are classified as AR-15 types and are usually available in the price range of $2000 or more. Although the Daniel Defense rifle was not sold with sights, Ramos’ social media posts showed that he purchased a battery-powered holographic sight alongside the weapon.


Holographic sights are reportedly designed for rapid short-range shooting, which helps to fix on targets more quickly. LX noted that AR-15s and other AR-style rifles are weapons that have been used in several mass shootings in the past, including Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Las Vegas and the Sutherland Springs shooting, and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in 2018.

The publication mentioned that AR-style rifles usually fire bullets at a higher velocity than a typical handgun with a bullet. Trauma center employees who have treated victims shot with AR-style rifles told the publication that the wounds inflicted by these guns are more damaging than those from a handgun.

As victims of the Uvalde elementary school shooting were gradually identified, the nation continued to mourn the tragic loss of innocent lives while condemning the rise of gun violence across the U.S.

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Edited by Babylona Bora