The Uvalde Texas School Shooter
School shootings are highly political since gun control, security policies, and mental illness are brought directly into the spotlight.
Now, while all those things are important, personally what interests me the most is what led up to this particular human carrying out such inhumane actions.
For those of you who don’t know (all of you) I’m a registered nurse and mental health professional.
I’m going to gather information on this school shooter and review my interpretation of this shooter by going through objective and subjective information.
I am not by any means diagnosing, or suggesting specific interventions.
I’m simply going to give you my read on a person who can no longer speak for himself.
Salvador Ramos: The Uvalde Texas School Shooter
To do this, I’ve went through social media trying to gather the facts and interpret how others would describe Salvador, the shooter. Here is what I’ve gathered;
Salvador Ramos was an 18 year old man who legally purchased two AR long guns, acquired body armor and shot his grandmother in the face then proceeded to kill 21 people.
He spent over $4,000 on weapons prior to the incident.
He was unemployed but worked at Wendy’s until about a month prior to the shooting.
The school shooter walked into the school unobstructed.
The school officer was not on site at the time of the shooting.
The tactical team took roughly an hour to enter the elementary school in Uvalde after the school shooter began the rampage.
When the tactical team entered, the shooter was gunned down on 5/31/2022.
The FBI defines an active shooter as “An individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area”. Active shooters often target schools for a variety of known and unknown reasons. Source Here
Former classmates of Salvador Ramos describe him as
- A bully that was unsuccessful at picking on others
- Not a good person
- Would hurt animals
- Would go to parks and try to pick fights
- Had scars on his face and when asked how he got them stated “I did them myself, I like how it looks”
Salvador Ramos: The Uvalde Texas School Shooter
- He had no idea that Salvador had the weapons
- He has no idea who purchased them
- Salvador didn’t graduate
- He hadn’t gone to school for the past year
- He was very quiet
- He didn’t talk very much
- Salvador didn’t live with his mother because they had “problems or something”
- Grandpa doesn’t know why he hasn’t gone to school for the past year
“We never did have a conversation”
Salvador Ramos & his Grandpa
“It came out of the blue”
Mom’s boyfriend refers to him in these terms
- “He was a recluse who didn’t have any friends”
Here is Mom’s Statement:
“I have no words, I have no words to say. I don’t know what he was thinking, he had his reasons for what he did and please don’t judge him. I just want… to the innocent children who died, forgive me. Forgive me, forgive my son. I know he had his reasons.”
When asked what his reasons could be, Mom replies:
“To get closer to his children, instead of paying attention to things, the other bad things, no I don’t have any words to say. He was very quiet.
He was very quiet.
He was himself. He didn’t bother anybody. He didn’t do anything to anybody.”
Children who witnessed the school shooter first hand say
- Salvador Ramos entered the classroom and said “good night” and then killed a teacher
- Salvador Ramos opened the door, he crouched a little bit then said “it’s time to die”
- Salvador Ramos, the shooter, stated “look at what we have here” after entering a classroom
A few things stood out to me:
- Who are the positive role models in his life?
- What emotional support does he have?
- Has he sought it out, but it has not been available?
- This statement though;
“We never did have a conversation”
- He was described as “quiet” numerous times
- Adam Lanza Similarities
According to one article, the most common reasons for a school shooter to carry out such horrific incidents are as follows
- The shooter wants to get back at those who hurt them
- Other students mock or bully the shooter
- The shooter does not value life
- The shooter has experienced physical abuse at home
- The shooter has mental health problems | Source Here
Here is some objective data on this school shooter
- Mom lived in an apartment that housed 6 people around the time she birthed the school shooter
- Mom & Dad of the school shooter have both had assault charges filed against them
In addition to the 21 lives lost, Salvador’s life has also ended. This person was the most influential figure of the entire incident.
As a mental health professional, I find myself perplexed and intrigued at the combination of circumstances that produced this tragedy.
“A school shooter is most likely to reside in California, Texas and Florida”
Personality Disorder is written all over this school shooter.
These three personality disorders in particular;
People with a personality disorder usually experience chronic, pervasive difficulty with relationships, impulse control, & emotions.
It may be present in childhood and becomes prominent in teen years, but often a diagnosis is withheld until adulthood.
Typically, a personality disorder is in sync with one’s ego.
Because of this, the person may lack self-awareness and externalize the problems caused by their personality disorder.
Personality disorders can co-occur.
In order for a diagnosis a person must exhibit difficulty in at least one of the four, (among other criteria specific to the personality disorder);
- Distorted thinking
- Problematic emotional responses
- Over or under regulated impulse control
- Interpersonal difficulties
Data supports that any person with a personality disorder is more likely to have a substance use disorder.
Though, sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate which is causing the other.
Personality disorders should be diagnosed with caution.
*These are characteristics often observed in a personality disorder, though every feature may not apply to each specific personality disorder.
Here are symptoms of the three personality disorders below
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
25% of those with schizotypal personality disorder will later be diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Article Here
- Few, if any close relationships
- Distrust of others
- Avoidant of social situations
- May not understand social cues
- Disorder is fairly equal between male and female
- Unique beliefs
- Flat affect
- Inappropriate display of feelings
- Paranoid, suspicious, anxious
- Constricted emotional responses
- Misinterprets situations
- Unusual thinking and mannerisms
- May have some delusional thinking
- May fantasize or often be preoccupied
- May be disheveled
- May have unusual pattern of speech
- Social anxiety
- Socially out of step with peers
- Underachiever in school
- May be target of bullying
Adam Lanza, a school shooter who killed 28 people including his mother in the 2012 Sandy Hook Shooting, was thought to have Schizotypal Personality Disorder. The mother of this school shooter reported that he didn’t leave his bedroom for roughly 3 months and despite living in the same house, she only communicated to him by email. Source Here
On a lighter note, one of America’s greatest poets, Emily Dickinson was also thought to have schizotypal personality disorder
Avoidant Personality Disorder
- Roughly equal among male and female
- Sensitive to rejection and criticism
- May avoid work, social, or school related activities
- Feeling of being inferior
- Nervous, anxious
- Low self esteem
- May study their environment for evidence of rejection
- Feels socially inept
- Need to be well liked
- Might be a people pleaser
- Fear of intimacy
- As a child, may have displayed minimal preference between stranger and parent
- Lack assertiveness
- Afraid to talk about feelings
- Limited intimate relationships
“No one knows the difference between my alone time that I enjoy and the one that’s killing me”
- Preoccupied with being criticized
- Reluctant to take risks
- Commonly co-occurs with agoraphobia and substance use disorder
- Avoidance is their primary coping mechanism
“Both men and women of Avoidant Personality Disorder are emotionally silent. The notable loss of intimacy is reported by the spouse of the Avoidant Personality Disorder. These day to day losses are very wearing on the spouse.”
Dr. Sandra Smith-Hanen
Kim Basinger is a star who was diagnosed with Avoidant Personality Disorder. She stared in numerous films, including Panic: A Movie About Coping.
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Antisocial Personality Disorder is sometimes interchanged with terms ‘sociopath’ and ‘psychopath’, though those are both unofficial terms & they do not necessarily equate to this personality disorder.
- Common among personality disorders
- More common in those born male
- Symptoms typically peak in the person’s 20s , tend to improve after age 45
- Ignores rights of others
- May be prone to suicidal and/or homicidal ideations
- May treat others harshly or manipulate
- Perceived as not having guilt or remorse
- Ability to be charming
- Tendency for impulsivity, violence, lying
- Poor relationships
- Inability to tolerate discomfort
- May be viewed as a bully
- Fail to fulfill obligations
- Common co-occurring disorders include
- Conduct disorder
- Substance use disorder
- Gambling addiction
- Callous, harsh, Cynical
- Uses intimidation
Jeffrey Dahmer or the Milwaukee Cannibal is an infamous criminal known for killing and raping (and occasionally eating) at least 15 boys and was thought to have Antisocial Personality Disorder
“It is now over. This has never been a case of trying to get free. I didn’t ever want freedom. Frankly, I wanted death for myself. This was a case to tell the world that I did what I did, but not for reasons of hate. I hated no one. I knew I was sick or evil or both. Now I believe I was sick. The doctors have told me about my sickness, and now I have some peace. I know how much harm I have caused… Thank God there will be no more harm that I can do. I believe that only the Lord Jesus Christ can save me from my sins… I ask for no consideration.” Jeffrey Dahmer
“Antisocial personality disorder does not equate to psychopathy. Although most individuals with psychopathy would qualify for an antisocial personality disorder diagnosis, the converse is not true. Many more individuals qualify for an antisocial personality disorder diagnosis than have psychopathy.” Essi Viding
Those with personality disorders are not inherently bad.
Please comment if you feel inclined, have information I missed, or feel I have misinformed in anyway.
Again, I am not diagnosing or attempting to give treatment or medication advice, simply summarizing existing information and adding my perspective.
Here are all 10 Personality Disorders Below
Personality disorders are grouped into clusters based on common similarities;
Cluster A: Social withdrawal or awkwardness driven by distorted thinking
Cluster B: Dramatic, impulsive and emotional thinking/behavior
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Cluster C: Driven by fear
- Avoidant Personality Disorder
- Dependent Personality Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
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