The Texas school shooter's grandmother may never be able to speak again after she was shot in the face, a relative told The New York Post.
Last Tuesday's massacre in the mostly Latino town of Uvalde was the deadliest shooting at a school in the US since 20 children and six adults were shot dead at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.
The 18-year-old gunman, Salvador Ramos, entered Robb Elementary School at around 11:32 AM. He was armed with a handgun and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle before "horrifically, incomprehensibly" opening fire, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said.
Before the mass shooting, the teen shot his grandmother, Celia "Sally" Martinez Gonzales, and crashed his car near the school. He was eventually shot dead by US Border Patrol agents. Nineteen children and two adults were killed in Ramos' attack on one fourth-grade classroom.
Ramos lived with his grandma in Uvalde, Texas. He shot her shortly before driving to the elementary School and barricading himself in the classroom where he carried out his rampage.
According to her second cousin, Jason Ybarra, Martinez Gonzales is lucky to be alive after she was shot by Ramos in the face.
"The bullet went into Sally's jaw just next to her mouth and shattered all her teeth," Ybarra told the Post. "If the bullet was an inch in another direction, it would have blown her head off."
“She’s doing fairly well, considering what happened. But she may never be able to talk again,” added 45-year-old Ybarra.
Martinez Gonzales is currently only communicating in writing, Ybarra added.
Meanwhile, people are questioning why local police did not breach the classroom as soon as they arrived on the scene.
AP News previously reported that police waited more than an hour to breach the classroom in which fourth graders were trapped with the shooter.
The young students repeatedly called 911, including one child who pleaded: "Please send the police now."
A Texas official said at a news conference on Friday that Uvalde police made the "wrong decision" by waiting so long to breach the classroom, where the attacker ultimately shot and killed 19 children and two teachers.
"From the benefit of hindsight, where I’m sitting now, of course it was not the right decision," Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said, per NPR. "It was the wrong decision, period."