Patrick Crusius, 21, allegedly opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas by gunning it down with a semi-automatic weapon on August 3, 2019. There were hundreds of shoppers and at least 100 employees in the store. The incident killed 22 people and injured 24 others.
Crusius was handed a 90-count indictment charging him with federal hate crimes on Thursday.
According to U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas John Bash, the hate crime charges were a testament to the Justice Department’s commitment to tamper down the “resurgent threat of violence motivated by race, national origins and other categories.” He added that the case was being treated as an act of domestic terrorism.
The suspect in the El Paso shooting stepped out of a vehicle with his hands up & declared “I’m the shooter” after the massacre at a Walmart that killed 22 people. He also divulged to the police that his target was “Mexicans,” according to an affidavit.https://t.co/su6Hl8kL2J
— Ashlee Rezin Garcia (@Ashlee_Rezin) August 9, 2019
Fox News reported that prosecutors alleged that Crusius drove over 10 hours from his grandparents’ house in a Dallas suburb to El Paso to carry out the attack. When he surrendered to the police, he said, “I’m the shooter” and allegedly told police he was targeting Mexicans. “Investigators later uncovered a manifesto that may have been written by the suspect and would indicate a ‘nexus to a hate crime,’” said the report.
According to NPR, “Crusius pleaded not guilty to the killings during a court appearance last October, despite police documents that state he confessed to the crime.”