Uvalde shooter’s cousin is arrested over making a school shooting threat, court records say

Flowers and candles are placed around crosses at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Flowers and candles are placed around crosses outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, to honor the victims killed in the 2022 mass shooting.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)
Share via

The teenage cousin of the gunman responsible for the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, has been arrested after his family told police he was trying to buy a gun and “do the same thing,” court records show.

Police in San Antonio took Nathan James Cruz into custody Monday on charges of making threats to a public place and a family member. The 17-year-old cousin was being held in the Bexar County jail on a $160,000 bond Tuesday, jail records show.

According to police and court records, Cruz is the cousin of Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old Uvalde resident who authorities say fatally shot 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in 2022. Police waited more than an hour to confront and kill Ramos.


The charges against Cruz stem from his mother calling police to tell them he was also threatening to open fire at a school and had said he’d shoot his sister, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by local news outlets. The San Antonio Express-News reports the mom also told officers she overheard Cruz trying to obtain a rifle over the phone.

After being charged with making threats to shoot up an elementary school in southwest Texas, a 17-year-old related to the mass killer from Uvalde is in custody.

Aug. 8, 2023

Cruz denied making any threats when interviewed by detectives, according to the court record. The Bexar County Public Defender’s Office, which is representing him, declined to comment.

Following the massacre in Uvalde, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has waved off calls for tougher gun laws, just as he did after mass shootings at a Sutherland Springs church in 2017 and an El Paso Walmart in 2018. The issue didn’t turn Texas voters away from the Republican, who easily won a third term months after the Uvalde shooting.

More than a year since the killings, the state criminal investigation into the hesitant police response to Texas’ deadliest school shooting remains ongoing.