Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old Uvalde, Texas native allegedly opened fire at the Robb Elementary School, killing 18 children and three adults, before being killed by first responders. Hours before the incident, he’d texted an Instagram user going by @epnupues, who he’d cryptically told “I’m about to”. 

Their conversation began with Ramos tagging her in a picture with two rifles and ended sometime before the shootout, with the suspected assailant texting “Ima air out“. 

Since the events, @epnupues has posted a series of stories, sharing snippets of their conversation with Ramos. The Instagram user has claimed they only spoke to Ramos out of fear and expressed sadness over the school shootout, saying “I wish I had stayed awake to at least try to convince him not to commit his crime”. 

Also Read | The pen is mightier than the gun: Texas falls prey to its own lax laws

However, the Instagram profile has begun receiving backlash, with former scammer Cole Bartiromo-run Newsball commenting “Does this look like a girl that should be free? Looks like a ticking time bomb. She assisted the Uvalde terrorist that shot 15 white people”. 

Despite so much spotlight on the last person to speak to Ramos, surprisingly little is known about @epnupues, except for what the user has admitted to – like not being from Texas, and hailing from California. On one of the pictures, posted in March, the user says they were about to turn 17. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by ㅤ (@epnupues)

The profile of @epnupues has also been tagged in some of their photos posted from an Instagram account going by @kahiez, who describes themselves as a DJ. 

Also Read | Texas shooting echoes across US as ‘FBI’ Season 4 finale stands cancelled

While little else is known about @epnupues, the profile, or at least the individual’s pictures were likely used in catfishing, as pointed out by a user going by @maybe.some.racks. On one of @kahiez’s photos of @epnupues, the user commented that someone else called “fleshgardenz” was using the pictures. 

Catfishing is the internet phenomenon where an individual pretends to be someone else to lure others into various situations, from relationships to financial scams. One technique catfishes use is to access others’ profile photos to set up a fake persona.

Ramos’ texter only had a few images of themselves on the profile, and all taken inside, without anybody else visible in the frames. The Instagram username “epnupues” also comes very close to an internet slang phrase “sapnu puas” or “apnu puas” – which if read upside down becomes “send nudes” or “send nude”, as per SlangLang, depending on the version one is using. The phrase obviously is internet lingo to solicit naked pictures from users. 

Also Read | Why Brian Kemp’s vision for Georgia’s gun laws is scarily similar to Texas

Outside of @epnupues’ relatively low social media presence, the Instagram user noted that they’d already told the police everything about their interactions with the alleged Texas school shooter. The series of stories they posted about the conversations, ended in the declaration “I didn’t know”, further distancing themself from the incident.