Uvalde, TX – The gunman who murdered 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School last week was well-known in social media circles for threatening to kidnap or rape girls and young women, according to people familiar with his online profiles.
At least four females living at various locations around the globe said they met the 18-year-old gunman on Yubo, a social networking and livestreaming app that has been referred to as “Tinder for teens,” The Washington Post reported.
After making contact in Yubo chatrooms, known as panels, the gunman and the females would send one another private messages on other platforms, according to the news outlet.
Four females who spoke with The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity said the shooter’s messages grew darker over time, to include “joking” about sexual assault and posting photos of dead cats.
“Everyone in this world deserves to get raped,” he declared in one livestreamed Yubo video, according to The Washington Post.
One 16-year-old Austin boy said the gunman sent him a death threat after he and his friends reported him dozens of times.
“I witnessed him harass girls and threaten them with sexual assault, like rape and kidnapping,” the boy told The Washington Post. “It was not like a single occurrence. It was frequent.”
The teen said he never heard anything back from Yubo after he reported the alleged infractions.
The women and girls The Washington Post spoke to said they rarely reported the suspect because his threats seemed to be too vague.
Others said such comments are commonplace online, saying that is just “how online is,” according to the news outlet.
Amy Williams, a spokesperson for Yubo, refused to comment on whether or not the company had received complaints about the shooter’s activity on the app, The Washington Post reported.
“As there is an ongoing and active investigation and because this information concerns a specific individual’s data, we are not legally able to share these details publicly at this time,” Williams told the news outlet.
In addition to his alleged behavior on Yubo, the gunman also sent private messages on Facebook announcing his plans to shoot people, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said last week.
Abbot said the suspect sent a series of Facebook messages beginning at 11 a.m. on May 24, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“The first post was to the point of he said, ‘I’m going to shoot my grandmother,’” Abbott said. “The second post was, ‘I shot my grandmother.’”
“I’m going to shoot an elementary school,” the suspect wrote at 11:15 a.m.
Those messages were all sent privately, according to police.
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials said the gunman talked about buying guns in private Instagram chats, to include sending a message reading, “10 more days,” The Washington Post reported.
“Are you going to shoot up a school or something?” the other person asked.
“No, stop asking dumb questions. You’ll see,” he responded, according to DPS.
Twenty-one people were killed and 17 more were injured during the May 24 attack, Forbes reported.
Nineteen of the murdered victims were children.