After another tragic massacre, this time at Santa Fe High School in Texas, left eight students and two teachers dead, many are once again left wondering: Were the warning signs missed?
Now, social media posts and those who know the 17-year-old alleged killer responsible for the crime are answering that very question.
What does the suspect’s online presence reveal?
As multiple outlets have reported, social media pages for one of the young men charged with the massacre reveal a dark and troubled teenager who had an obsession with guns and knives.
According to the Daily Caller, one of the notable images on the suspect’s Facebook page, prior to Facebook removing the page, was of a trench coat with regalia from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union pinned to it. In addition, another image was of a shirt with the caption “born to kill” adorned on the front.
One of the other images garnering much attention was a picture of a handgun and knives on a bed. The image’s caption said: “Hi f**kers.” The image was posted to an Instagram account believed to be associated with the suspect three weeks prior to Friday’s tragedy.
However, Facebook, which owns Instagram, told NBC News it was unable to confirm if the Instagram account was associated with the suspect.
More from NBC News:
While posts could provide clues to [the killer’s] interests and state of mind before he allegedly barged into a classroom and started shooting, not all of them were so darkly themed.
In one selfie from May 2, [the killer] wore a backwards baseball cap adorned with a pink and purple striped pin that is associated with bisexual pride, according to dozens of online retailers. In his profile photo, he wore a black hat with a white peace sign on the front.
What did classmates say?
One student told KPRC-TV that the alleged killer was a known target of bullying, who apparently just “snapped.”
“He’s been picked on by coaches before for smelling bad and stuff like that and he doesn’t really talk to very many people, either — he keeps to himself. He wears a trench coat every day and it’s like 90 degrees out here,” the unnamed student said. “I heard that he wore a shirt today and it said ‘born to kill,’ the shirt he was wearing, I don’t even know how the school can allow that.”
The student further lamented over the alleged bullying and the fact the suspect had few friends.
“I think it’s stupid, the coaches can’t talk to students like that and make fun of them. That’s their fault, and strictly their fault. Not the kid’s fault, but their fault, no one has talked to him or tried to be nice to him,” he said.
What did officials say?
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said the warning signs were not present with this incident like they were for the Parkland, Florida, massacre in February.
“The red-flag warnings were either nonexistent or very imperceptible,” Abbott said Friday, according to KPRC. The governor further revealed the killer had no previous arrest record or confrontations with law enforcement.