The gunman who shot dead 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde city of Texas on Tuesday had shared his plan on Facebook before carrying out the attack, Reuters reported.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Greg Abbott said that 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, who was killed by responding officers, wrote about shooting his grandmother and then attacking the school on the social media platform.

The governor said that Ramos’ grandmother, whom the suspect had shot in the face shortly before attacking the school, survived and called the police. He added that Ramos had no known criminal or mental health history, according to The Guardian.

However, a spokesperson for Meta said that the Facebook posts described by Abbott were private text messages that were discovered after the tragedy. “We are closely cooperating with law enforcement in their ongoing investigation,” the spokesperson added.

Tuesday’s attack at the Robb Elementary School was one of the deadliest attacks at an American school since a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, in a rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012.

The attack took place ten days after ten people were killed in a racially-motivated shooting at a supermarket in New York’s Buffalo city. The authorities had said that most of the residents shot at were Black.

On Wednesday, Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said that Ramos was inside the school for roughly an hour before a tactical unit from the Border Patrol shot him.

“An investigation of the shooting is yet to reveal a motive,” McCraw said, according to The New York Times.

Calls for action to stem gun violence

The attack on Robb Elementary School sparked a new debate over the need for more gun control in the United States.

President Joe Biden had asked Americans to stand up to the gun lobby and urge members of Congress to pass sensible laws.

“These kinds of mass shootings rarely happen elsewhere in the world,” Biden had said during an address from the White House. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it?”

US Vice President Kamala Harris had said that “enough is enough” after the tragedy.

Former US President Barack Obama had said that “it’s long past time for action” on gun violence. “Nearly 10 years after Sandy Hook and 10 days after Buffalo our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies,” Obama had said.

The United States reported 19,350 firearm homicides in 2020, up nearly 35% over 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on May 10. The Gun Violence Archive, a US-based non-profit group, said that the country recorded 212 mass shootings so far this year, according to Al Jazeera.

High-powered assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols are cheaper in the US and more widely available than ever despite recurring mass shootings.