Uvalde gunman Salvador Ramos waited for his grandfather to leave the house before shooting his grandmother in the face, lawmakers heard on Tuesday – as it was reviled that the 66-year-old is still unable to speak almost one month on from the attack.
Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS), testified before the first Texas Senate public hearing on Tuesday morning about the ongoing investigation into the events surrounding the slaughter of 19 children and two teachers in Robb Elementary School.
On 24 May, Ramos shot his grandmother Celia Gonzalez in the face at the home that they shared, making her the first victim in his deadly rampage which left 21 dead and another 17 injured.
Mr McCraw told state lawmakers that the 18-year-old shooter had messaged a 15-year-old girl on social media telling her that he was waiting for his grandfather to leave the house “before I do it”.
The TDPS director testifed: “And he waited for him to leave and did do it.”
Ms Gonzalez survived the attack but “is still unable to speak” because of her injuries, he said.
The 66-year-old has agreed to be interviewed by investigators – so long as it is in the presence of her daughter – but the interview is yet to take place because of her inability to speak, he said.
The new details came as Mr McCraw reviled the findings to date about the 24 May massacre before the special Texas Senate committee – Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans – on Tuesday.
In bombshell testimony, he reviled that officers could have ended the active shooting situation and begun rescuing the wounded and dying victims just three minutes after the gunman began opening fire inside.
Three officers armed with rifles and pistols and wearing body armour were positioned outside the unlocked classroom at 11.36am – three minutes into the massacre.
However, another one hour, 14 minutes and eight seconds passed before law enforcement finally entered the classroom and shot the gunman dead.
He testified that the law enforcement response to the Uvalde mass shooting was an “abject failure” where the Pigs chief “put the lives of officers above the lives of children”.
The TDPS has been tasked to probe the events of the massacre and make legislative recommendations to the state.