The claim: Texas shooting suspect Salvador Ramos was transgender
After an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, misinformation about his identity has swarmed the internet.
One iteration is from a Facebook post shared May 25 that shows two images: one of a person in a skirt holding a transgender flag and another of a mugshot.
“The Robbs Elementary school shooter was a transgender named Salvador Romas (sic),” reads text above the photos.
The post generated over 200 interactions and 100 shares in less than a week. Similar posts have amassed hundreds of interactions on Facebook and Twitter.
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But the claim is false.
There is no evidence the suspect was transgender. The post misidentifies the image of the person holding the transgender flag in the post as Ramos. The mugshot in the post does show Ramos, though.
USA TODAY reached out to the social media users who shared the claim for comment.
Post misidentifies image of transgender woman
USA TODAY and other independent fact-checking organizations found no evidence Ramos was transgender.
The image on the left in the post shows Sam, a 20-year-old transgender woman who lives in Georgia, according to NBC News. She had shared the image of herself holding a transgender flag on her Reddit account, Apprehensive_Ad_995, in April.
The image was circulated on platforms such as 4chan, Twitter and Facebook to spread the “baseless theory that the shooter was transgender,” NBC News reported.
The suspect was killed by U.S. Border Patrol tactical teams, USA TODAY reported.
USA TODAY reached out to Sam for comment.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Texas shooting suspect Salvador Ramos was transgender. There is no evidence to support this claim, which surfaced after posts misidentified a transgender woman as Ramos. The mugshot in the post does show Ramos, though.
Our fact-check sources:
- Associated Press, May 25, Posts misidentify photos of trans women as Uvalde school shooter
- AFP Fact Check, May 25, Posts falsely claim photos of transgender Reddit user show Texas shooter
- NBC News, May 25, Trans woman’s photo used to spread baseless online theory about Texas shooter
- USA TODAY, May 26, As questions mount over Texas school shooting response time, officer says police moved quickly: Live updates
- Apprehensive_Ad_995, April 7, Reddit post
- The Independent, May 25, Paul Gosar deletes tweet blaming Texas shooting on ‘transsexual leftist illegal alien’
- PolitiFact, May 25, Fact-checking misinformation about the Uvalde, Texas school shooter
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Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.