A cousin of the Uvalde, Texas school shooter was arrested Monday for allegedly threatening to commit a school shooting of his own, according to arrest affavits filed in Bexar County.
San Antonio Police officers responded to a mental health call from the mother of the teenager, who’s been identified by news media as 17-year-old Nathan James Cruz. She reportedly told police that her son had threatened to “do the same thing” as his cousin.
The May 24, 2022 Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde left 19 children and two teachers dead. It was the most massive school shooting since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and the ninth-deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The Uvalde shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was fatally shot on the scene by U.S. Border Patrol Agents.
In the months afterward, Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act which, among other features, expanded background checks for gun purchasers under the age of 21, placed a five-year ban on any domestic violence perpetrator from purchasing a firearm, and added some $750 million into funding red flag laws that allow authorities to confiscate firearms from individuals whom a court determines are a danger to themselves or others. The legislation also provided some $11 billion for mental health services.
Despite the legislative effort, as of Monday there had already been seven mass shootings in the U.S. this month and a total of 430 this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive which defines the crime as four or more victims killed or wounded.
Cruz’s sister gave a recorded statement at police headquarters, saying she was giving her brother a ride when he threatened to shoot her in the head and “stated that he would ‘shoot the school.’”
According to the affidavits, the suspect’s mother further said she’d overheard a conversation Monday morning during which her son attempted to acquire an AR-15 “through an illegal private sale.”
The suspect lives across the street from an elementary school, according to police.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the suspect has an attorney who could speak on his behalf as his case is listed as pending with the Bexar County magistrate.