Patrick Crusius was identified as the suspect in the El Paso, Texas, Walmart shooting that left 22 dead on August 3. Crusius, 21, is in jail facing capital murder charges. On September 12, Crusius was indicted on capital murder charges. Prosecutors in El Paso have said that they will seek the death penalty in the case. It’s expected that federal prosecutors will also seek capital murder charges against Crusius with the Department of Justice investigating the shooting as a hate crime.
Officials said during a press conference there were 20 people dead and 26 injured. Two of the injured victims died on Monday bringing the number of victims killed to 22. Officials also confirmed the existence of a manifesto, which they said is a part of their investigation. They did not confirm the manifesto was written by the suspect. Law enforcement told ABC News he told them he wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible.
Charges for Patrick Wood Crusius appeared in the online El Paso County criminal case search Sunday, which indicated prosecutors are pursuing capital murder counts. The case is listed as inactive. Jail records indicate he is in the downtown jail on capital murder charges. It does not list a bail amount. It lists an alias for Crusius: Patrick Wood Brown. No attorneys are listed. A judge issued an order Wednesday to seal his record, meaning most court documents are not open to the public.
Capital murder and the potential federal charges could result in a death penalty sentence if he is convicted. The El Paso District Attorney’s Office will seek the death penalty, said District Attorney Jaime Esparza.
El Paso Police Sergeant Robert Gomez said at a briefing late Saturday night that Crusius, who has not been formally charged, was talking to investigators. “His motives and what transpired are being investigated. This is the most traumatic scene that I’ve been close to and I can tell you that the investigators are doing their best to complete this investigation proper with the respect and dignity the victims deserve, but it is tough to see this type of heinous crime occur in your community,” Gomez said.
In questioning Crusius, El Paso Police Chief Gregory K. Allen said “He didn’t hold anything back.”
Crusius legally purchased the gun used in the shooting, police said.
His mother, Lori Lynn Crusius, called police a few weeks before the shooting because she was concerned about her son owning an AK-47 style rifle. The family’s attorney said the call was “purely informational” adding there was “absolutely no fear of violence nor any belief of an intent to do harm” prompting her phone call. Her concerns were based on her son’s age, maturity and lack of experience handling a gun, attorneys Chris Ayres and R. Jack Ayres told CNN.
Police told her that based on her description of the situation, Crusius was legally allowed to purchase the gun. She did not give police her name or her son’s name, and there was no followup into the call because it was apparently a legal purchase. It was not known whether that firearm was the gun used in the attack. Allen police had records of only minor incidents with Crusius, which were a false burglar alarm at the family’s home, a minor traffic accident involving a bus he was riding and a third when he ran away from home and returned 30 minutes later, CNN reported.
The mass shooting is the deadliest mass shooting since October 1, 2017, the day of the Las Vegas concert mass shooting. A second mass shooting occurred about 12 hours after the bloodbath in El Paso. At least nine people were killed and 26 were wounded in a shooting outside of a bar in Dayton, Ohio. The gunman in that shooting, in the popular Oregon District of the city, was killed by police. He has been identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts, of Bellbrook, Ohio, but no motive for that shooting has been made public.
Crusius was “very much a loner,” Leigh Ann Locascio, his former neighbor, told the Los Angeles Times.
The state of Texas will lead prosecution on the suspect. They plan to charge him with capital murder. Officials also referenced possible investigations into hate crime, but would not define a motive in the early stages of the investigation.
“Not speaking about this particular incident, which is still under investigation, but the manifesto narrative is fueled by hate, and it’s fueled by racism and bigotry and division,” U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar said at the press conference.
She said “strong statements” will be forthcoming if a hate-crime motive is determined, “but for now, we’ll let the investigation continue,” she said.
The shooting was reported at 10:39 a.m. Police arrived on the scene six minutes later, officials said. Law enforcement declined to identify the suspect, saying he was a 21-year-old man from Allen, Texas.
Area hospitals reported there were a total of 24 injured people among the hospitals, including two children. Also among the injured were military service members from Fort Bliss, according to local news reports.
Police scanner traffic from the area suggested that Crusius was in custody about noon local time. The FBI and ATF responded to the scene, alongside the El Paso Police Department and other state and local police departments.
A motive for the attack has not been officially confirmed by police, but CNN reports that an online posting that appears to have been made by the suspect is being investigated by the FBI.
The shopping area, near Cielo Vista Mall, is close to the United States border with Mexico. It is a popular location to shop for people on both sides of the border. License plates from both the United States and Mexico appear in the parking lots, NBC reported.
“We must do one thing today, one thing tomorrow and each and every day after this,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said during a press conference. “We must unite.”
A Walmart employee told KTSM she thought boxes were being dropped when she first heard the gunfire. She asked to be identified only by her first name, Leslie.
“I thought it was just like loud boxes being dropped or something, until they got closer and closer,” she said. “That’s when I looked at my co-worker, and we looked at each other like shocked and scared.”
She said she tried to rescue as many people as she could.
“I got all the people that I could. I even found a little girl that was missing from her parents, and I got her, too. I tried to get as many people as I could out,” she said.
There were thousands of people inside the Walmart when the shooting began, according to police.
Adriana Quezada, 39, was in the store with her two children. She initially thought the gunshots were sounds from construction work.
“I heard the shots but I thought they were hits, like roof construction,”she told the Associated Press.
Esparza said El Paso is a community that prides itself on safety.
“This is not us,” he said. “The bright sun that’s shining today, that is who we are. We are a really great and loving community, but we will hold him accountable.”
A fund has been set up to help the victims of the shooting.
Patrick Crusius’ parents, Lori Lynn Crusius and John Bryan Crusius, issued a statement Tuesday saying outside influences must have caused their son to act violently. They denounced his actions in a statement that was read by their lawyer.
“Patrick’s actions were apparently influenced and informed by people we do not know, and from ideas and beliefs we do not accept or condone. He was raised in a family that taught love, kindness, respect, and tolerance—rejecting all forms of racism, prejudice, hatred, and violence.”
Crusius’ grandparents made a statement Monday saying they were “devastated.” Read more about his family here.
Here’s what you need to know about Patrick Crusius and the shooting:
1. Crusius Was Taken Into Custody ‘Without Incident’
The suspect, identified by multiple sources as Patrick Crusius, was driving a grey vehicle, according to police scanner chatter. Early reports indicated the suspect had an AK47. That information was not immediately confirmed by police. Local reported Mills Hayes tweeted that the suspect was taken into custody “without incident” and that officers did not fire any shots during the arrest.
El Paso Police Chief Gregory K. Allen said during an evening press conference, “he surrendered to approaching officers.”
Court records indicate Crusius is facing capital murder charges. He applied for an attorney Sunday. Attorney Mark Stevens was appointed to the case. Stevens did not immediately return a call seeking comment. His website indicates he is a criminal defense attorney in San Antonio, Texas.
He did not reveal what type of gun was used in the attack, but said it was a high-powered weapon capable of causing significant damage in the crowded store. Walmart was especially busy Saturday with a high number of back-to-school shoppers.
“If you’re firing randomly at people, you can cause a lot of damage,” he said.
Police discussed recovering the weapon on the scanner but did not specify what type of weapon it was. At about 12:40 p.m., scanner traffic indicated that the police had recovered the weapon as well as the suspect’s car.
Asked what can be done to prevent this type of mass catastrophe in the future allegedly committed by “a white man with a manifesto,” Allen said, “That’s for a psychologist to answer.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott also related the mass shooting to mental health.
“The bottom line is mental health is a large contributor to any type of violence or shooting violence,” he said.
He said Texas was grieving for El Paso, where a normal day of shopping became a deadly day for the community.
“Texas grieves for the people of El Paso today,” he said.
Abbott asked people to remember El Paso in its prayers and to keep their loved ones close.
“For every mom and dad, for every son and daughter, we ask that you put your arms around your family tonight and give them a hug and let them know how much you love them,” he said.
Officials also thanked law enforcement for their rapid response. The shooting was reported at 10:39 a.m. and the first law enforcement officer was on the scene at 10:45 a.m., Allen said at the press conference. Other responding agencies included the FBI and border patrol, among others.
“Everyone that carries a badge in this town pretty much showed up to this particular scene,” he said.
Miguel Rodriguez, a witness, told The Daily Beast the gunman, “started shooting everyone, aisle by aisle, with rage.”
Witnesses told CBS 4 News that the suspect possibly stopped shooting because he ran out of ammunition.
Vanessa Saenz told Fox News Crusius seemed “very nonchalant, like he was on a mission.”
He was “just pointing at people and shooting straight at them. I saw about three or four just fall to the ground.” At that point, she was at a stop sign while other cars were passing. “He was just shooting randomly, it wasn’t to any particular person,” she said.
Scanner chatter was focused on Walmart at the Cielo Vista Mall. Police also said on the scanner they were sending officers in to complete “tactical searches” in the mall.
Walmart is not a part of the Cielo Vista Mall. It is located nearby. The mall was put on lock-down and searched by law enforcement.
Walmart issued a statement on Twitter saying they were “in shock” following the mass shooting.
The owner of the mall made a brief statement, saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims.”
2. A ‘Manifesto’ Posted to 8Chan Before the Shooting That Appears to Have Been Written by the Shooter Says the Attack Was His ‘Response to the Hispanic Invasion of Texas’
Reporter Scott Stedman has tweeted that he had told the FBI that a manifesto which was purported to be from the suspect had been circulating on 8Chan. Stedman said that the FBI is treating the manifesto seriously. 8Chan is a controversial message board that has been described as “the home of the most vitriolic content on the internet” by Vox.
That manifesto, which has been seen by Heavy.com but not verified as belonging to the suspect, makes negative references to Hispanic immigration into the U.S.. It criticizes both major political parties in the U.S., but the writer stresses that he supports some in the Republican Party in terms of immigration policies. The writer also makes reference to alleged Christchurch mosque shooter, Brenton Tarrant.
Law enforcement confirmed they are reviewing the manifesto, but could not confirm whether it was written by the shooter.
The manifesto appears to have been posted before the first reports of the shooting. It includes details that match up with what happened at the El Paso Walmart.
The manifesto was titled “An Inconvenient Truth.”
“In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion. Some people will think this statement is hypocritical because of the nearly complete ethnic and cultural destruction brought to the Native Americans by our European ancestors, but this just reinforces my point. The natives didn’t take the invasion of Europeans seriously, and now what’s left is just a shadow of what was. My motives for this attack are not at all personal. Actually the Hispanic community was not my target before I read The Great Replacement. This manifesto will cover the political and economic reasons behind the attack, my gear, my expectations of what response this will generate and my personal motivations and thoughts.”
It goes on to list “political reasons.”
“In short, America is rotting from the inside out, and peaceful means to stop this seem to be nearly impossible,” it said.
The manifesto said both Democratic and Republican politicians are failing because they are “either complacent or involved in one of the biggest betrayals of the American public in our history.” The “betrayal” is “the takeover of the United States government by unchecked corporations.”
“Due to the death of the baby boomers, the increasingly anti-immigrant rhetoric of the right and the ever increasing Hispanic population, America will soon become a one party-state. The Democrat party will own America and they know it,” it said.
It described Democratic policies of open borders, healthcare for undocumented immigrants and citizenship as a way to enact a coup by recruiting voters.
It lists “economic reasons” saying immigration will shrink the number of jobs available to American citizens.
“Even though new migrants do the dirty work, their kids typically don’t. They want to live the American Dream which is why they get college degrees and fill higher-paying skilled positions,” the manifesto said.
It goes on to address climate change, saying, “Everything I have seen and heard in my short life has led me to believe that the average American isn’t willing to change their lifestyle, even if the changes only cause a slight inconvenience. The government is unwilling to tackle these issues beyond empty promises since they are owned by corporations.”
It said reducing the number of people in the country is a way to help staunch the drain on natural resources.
“I just want to say that I love the people of this country, but g*d d*** most of y’all are just too stubborn to change your lifestyle. So the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources. If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable.”
It goes on to list gear including an AK47 or WASR 10, saying, “it overheats massively after about 100 shots fired in quick succession. I’ll have to use a heat-resistant glove to get around this.”
“I didn’t spend much time at all preparing for this attack. Maybe a month, probably less. I have do this before I lose my nerve. I figured that an under-prepared attack and a meh manifesto is better than no attack and no manifesto,” it said.
It goes on to denounce “race mixing” and said the job he wants will likely be automated. The writer expected to die, saying capture would be worse than death.
“America can only be destroyed from the inside-out. If our country falls, it will be the fault of traitors. This is why I see my actions as faultless. Because this isn’t an act of imperialism but an act of preservation,” it said.
The manifesto concluded with the writer saying his opinions predate Trump and his presidential campaign.
Crusius’ Facebook page was deleted after the shooting.
The Facebook page was seen by Heavy before it was taken down. It included just one photo, the profile picture at the top of this article, and no other posts or details about the suspect. He had only three friends, including his twin sister. The other two friends were a man and woman whose connection to Crusius was not immediately known.
A Twitter account, under the name @outsider609, that appeared to belong to Crusius was taken down by Twitter late Saturday night. On the Twitter account, which was last active in 2017, Crusius liked and retweeted several pro-Trump photos and memes. He also followed and like several right-wing Twitter users, including InfoWars conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson, Scott Presler and Steven Crowder.
In February 2017, he liked a tweet by a user showing a photo of several guns positioned to spell out “Trump.” The tweet read, “I’m extremely proud to call Trump my President! He’s doing a wonderful job and is truly going to #MAGA! #MondayMotiviation.”
In January 2017, he retweeted a Presler tweet that read, “Build that wall, Trump. Build it tall, Trump.
Stop that voter fraud, Trump. Start with California, Trump. #ThankYouTrump.”
3. Crusius Once Wrote on LinkedIn That He Was Not Motivated to Do Anything Other Than to Get By
Crusius wrote on his LinkedIn page in 2015 that he was not motivated to do anything other than enough to get by. Shortly after the shooting on August 3, that page was deleted. Crusius said on that page that he attended Plano High School. Plano is located near Crusius’ family home in Allen, Texas, and is about 650 miles away from El Paso. Collin County Community College confirmed he attended their school through the spring of 2019.
He wrote in the About section of the LinkedIn page, “I’m not really motivated to do anything more than what’s necessary to get by. Working in general sucks, but I guess a career in Software Development suits me well. I spend about 8 hours every day on the computer so that counts as technology experience I guess. Pretty much gonna see what technology careers present themselves; go with the wind.”
When writing about his life in high school, Crusius said that he did not participate in extracurricular activities because of “lack of freedom.” A Facebook page that shows the suspect’s face as the profile image shows no biographical information or recent postings. On that page, Crusius has three visible friends.
Leigh Ann Locascio, a former neighbor, told the Los Angeles Times Crusius spoke negatively about students who joined the school band or played sports. He often sat alone on the bus in junior high and high school. He was “very much a loner, very stand-offish” and “didn’t interact a whole lot with anyone.”
Her son, Tony Locascio, often walked to school with Crusius and his sister, but Crusius often walked ahead of them or behind them and rarely interacted.
“He wouldn’t talk to people. No one really knew him,” Tony Locascio told the Los Angeles Times.
Jacob Wilson, a former classmate, told the newspaper Crusius was “picked on” in school because of the way he spoke and because he often wore hand-me-down clothes. He described him as a “very strong minded” person who tried to “take charge in class.” He was “irritable and had a short temper,” so other students did not want to work with Crusius, he told the newspaper.
Classmates taunting Crusius seemed relentless, he said.
“Every time I looked up in class it was someone new speaking negatively to the kid, ‘Patrick that is dumb, stupid,’” Wilson said.
Daniel Heo lost touch with Crusius after elementary school. He remembered playing with him during recess at Beverly Elementary School in Plano, Texas.
“I’m shocked. I remember him being a nice kid,” Heo told the Los Angeles Times.
4. Crusius’ Last Known Address Was in Allen, Texas
Public records show Crusius’ last known address was his family’s home in Allen, Texas, about 30 minutes outside of Dallas and more than 9 hours away from El Paso. It is not clear if he has any connections to the El Paso area. Crusius appeared to have lived with his parents and also has a twin sister and older brother, according to public records. Crusius’ family has not commented about the shooting.
FBI and ATF agents are in north Texas searching homes and interviewing people who might be related to Crusius, WFAA reported.
Crusius was a 2017 graduate of Plano Senior High School.
Allen Police released a statement Sunday about their interactions with Crusius:
According to the Allen Police, Crusius was reported as a runaway in August 2014 when he was a juvenile. He returned home about 30 minutes after he was reported missing and was never entered into a missing persons database.
The Allen Police said, “There is no record of any person(s) ever contacting the Allen Police Department in reference to this suspect and any activity that he may have been engaged or involved in.”
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said a member of the El Paso community would not have attacked its people.
“This would not have happened from an El Pasoan, I can assure you,” he said.
He said El Paso will not be defined by the tragedy but by its response.
“United our community will heal. El Paso is too strong to be broken by a cowardly act like this one,” he said.
He said the community is mourning the loss.
“I want to ensure the El Paso community that we are safe,” he said. “We are safe.”
Officials confirmed 20 people were killed and 26 were injured. Reports indicated local hospitals were flooded with victims. The El Paso Police Department issued a plea via Twitter for blood donations in the wake of the shooting saying, “Blood needed urgently. Multiple injured transported to various hospitals. Blood donation centers Vitalent Blood Services at 424 s Mesa Hills and 133 N Zaragoza.”
A video on Twitter showed a long line of people waiting to donate blood.
The number of victims was described as “shocking” by Rep. Veronica Escobar.
“Rep. Veronica Escobar on CNN says she won’t confirm the number of fatalities from the mass shooting in El Paso, but that the number is ‘shocking,'” Reporter Sandra Gonzalez wrote on Twitter.
5. Police Say the Shooting Appears to Have ‘Nexus…To A Hate Crime’
The mass shooting in El Paso appeared to have “a nexus, at this point in time, to a hate crime,” El Paso Police Chief Gregory K. Allen said at an evening press conference.
He confirmed the existence of a manifesto, but could not directly tie it to the suspect. Emmerson Buie, FBI special agent in charge of the El Paso office, said they are reviewing evidence to determine a motive, which is too early to confirm.
Crusius reportedly told investigators he wanted to shoot as many Mexicans as possible.
Throughout the day there had been erroneous reports on social media of multiple shooters and of multiple shooting scenes. Police later said that following the arrest of Crusius, there was no further threat.
Both national and local support followed the mass shooting. The Paso Del Norte Community Foundation set up a fundraising page for victims and their families, the El Paso Victims Relief Fund.
Players at Dodger Stadium observed a moment of silence for the victims in Los Angeles.
A rally for gun control hit Washington, D.C. outside the White House with Moms Demand Action.
Statements from government officials quickly poured in on Twitter following the attack.
El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles issued a statement, which said in part, “This Anglo man came here to kill Hispanics. I’m outraged and you should be too. This entire nation should be outraged.”
The victims included citizens of both Mexico and the U.S. At least three Mexicans were among the victims, according to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
“I regret the events in El Paso, Texas, neighboring town and brother of Ciudad Juarez and our nation,” he said. “I send my condolences to the families of the victims, both American and Mexican.”
President Donald Trump wrote a statement on Twitter, calling the shooting “an act of cowardice.”
Today’s shooting in El Paso, Texas was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people,” he wrote. “Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the great people of Texas.”
State officials also wrote on Twitter about the shooting.
“In El Paso, the Texas Dept. of Public Safety is assisting local law enforcement & federal authorities to bring this tragedy to the swiftest & safest possible conclusion,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott wrote. “We thank all First Responders for their courageous response & urge all area residents to remain safe.”
Beto O’Rourke wrote about the shooting on Twitter and made a statement at a news conference.
“Truly heartbreaking. Stay safe, El Paso,” he wrote. “Please follow all directions of emergency personnel as we continue to get more updates.”
State Senator Sen. José Rodríguez shared a statement from the El Paso State Legislative Delegation.
President Trump tweeted earlier, “Terrible shootings in ElPaso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed. Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement. Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!”