Minutes before going on a killing spree, Texas shooter Salvador Ramos told a German girl that he had shot his grandmother and will now "shoot up a elementary school."

The girl, identified as Cece, is only an online acquaintance of the killer and she had got in touch with him about two weeks ago through an app called Yubo.

According to a New York Times report, Ramos had even video called the 15-year-old girl from a gun store around his birthday on May 16 saying that he was purchasing an AR-15 rifle.

On the day of the incident, he texted her saying: "I just shot my grandma in her head." The message was followed by another text which read: "Ima go shoot up a elementary school rn."

Cece said that she had read the messages but had no idea he will actually do it. She contacted a friend in the US only after she saw the news of the massacre on TV. "Maybe I could've changed the outcome," she said. "I just could never guess that he'd actually do this."

According to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Ramos had shot his grandmother in the face before driving off in a pick-up truck to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. His grandmother, who is in a critical condition currently, had somehow managed to inform the police after being shot.

He crashed the vehicle in a ditch near the school, got off the truck and shot two people passing by. The shooter then climbed a fence to get into the school's parking lot. He then walked into a classroom and barricaded himself before shooting the children. He killed 19 students, all from the same fourth-grade classroom, and two faculty members. Ramos was eventually killed by Border Patrol agents.

"This is not the first time that school children have become victims of such a violent crime. Firearms were the leading cause of death for children in 2020 and the rate is only increasing each year," per a report by Axios.

The mass casualty shooting is the latest in the United States, where firearms are involved in approximately 40,000 deaths a year, including suicides, according to the Gun Violence Archive website.

Lax gun laws and a constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms have repeatedly stymied attempts to clamp down on the number of weapons in circulation, despite greater controls being favoured by the majority of Americans.

Three-quarters of all homicides in the US are committed with guns, and the number of pistols, revolvers and other firearms sold continues to rise. According to a Pew survey conducted in June 2021, 30 percent of American adults said they owned at least one gun.

Texas School Shooting
A school employee talks through the window of a school bus to one of the parents near the scene of a suspected shooting near Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 24, 2022. Photo: Reuters / MARCO BELLO