The father of the 18-year-old who killed 21 people at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas this week wants the world to know he's sorry. In an interview with 'The Daily Beast' on Thursday, Salvador Ramos said, "I just want people to know that I'm sorry for what my son did."
"I never expected my son to do something like this," added Ramos, 42. "He should have killed me, you know, instead of doing something like that to someone."
Her son, also named Salvador, shot his grandmother in the face on Tuesday and drove away with his car, before crashing it into a ditch outside Robb Elementary and opening fire in a fourth-grade classroom.
The teenager, whose attack has claimed the lives of at least 19 young children and two adults, was killed at the scene by police.
Ramos said he was at work the day of the shooting and found out when his own mother called to tell him about it. In a panic, she contacted the local jail and asked if her son was there. Finally, she sank upon learning what had happened. "They killed my child," she said. She added: "I will never see my son again, just like they will never see their children. And that hurts me".
The details of his son's attack were terrifying: According to authorities, he bought two rifles and 375 rounds of ammunition before the massacre and barricaded himself inside a classroom for more than an hour. A student recorded him telling children, "It's time to die."
Despite the gruesome massacre he carried out on Tuesday, Ramos insisted his son was "a good person" who "beat himself up." He claimed to have no idea why his son became so violent or why he attacked the school.
But he said he's noticed a change in his son in recent months: a pair of boxing gloves he bought and started trying out at a local park. "I told him, 'Mijo, one day someone is going to kick your ass,'" Ramos recalled. "I started to see different changes in him like that."
The young man reportedly had a bad relationship with his mother and had dropped out of high school before graduating this year. His father admitted that she hadn't been spending much time with him lately because he was working outside of Uvalde — he digs holes around power poles to inspect them — and because of the pandemic.
"My mother tells me that he probably would have shot me too, because he would say he didn't want it," she told 'The Daily Beast'. Ramos also criticized Salvador's mother, Adriana Reyes, for not buying him more school supplies and clothes. He said that her son was bullied at school for wearing the same pants every day, and that was the reason she eventually dropped out of school.
For his part, Salvador Ramos Sr. has a criminal record that includes at least one conviction for assault and bodily injury to a family member. He also currently has no relationship with his daughter, the killer's sister, who said she was also upset with him for not spending enough time with the family.