EL PASO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – An El Paso County Grand Jury has indicted Patrick Crusius for Capital Murder in connection to the shooting deaths of 22 people at the Cielo Vista Walmart on August 3, 2019.
Many of the dead had Latino last names and eight of them were Mexican nationals.
The 21-year-old told officers after the attack, “I’m the shooter,” according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Crusius later waived his Miranda Rights and agreed to speak with detectives, telling them that he had driven to El Paso from his home in the Dallas suburb of Allen — which is a more than a 10-hour drive from El Paso — and that he was targeting Mexicans in the attack.
Authorities believe Crusius posted a racist manifesto that railed against an influx of Hispanics into the U.S. shortly before the attack.
Crusius’ family has since responded to the gunman’s indictment in a statement:
We, as a family, are aware of the grand jury’s indictment today regarding Patrick. The tragedy weighs heavily on our hearts and minds each and every day. It is important to respect the rule of law, including the grand jury’s decision and the district attorney’s office. There is a legal path forward that will now allow justice to become clear. It is in that spirit that we intend to honor all involved — from the victims, to law enforcement, to the courts and citizens tasked with their obligations in the judicial process. We will make no further comments to ensure the integrity of the court process, other than to say we continue to pray for all those touched — most especially the victims and their families.
They have since asked the public to respect their privacy at this time.
Capital Murder is the highest charge in the State of Texas and is punishable by death or life imprisonment without parole if found guilty. District Attorney Jaime Esparza said he will seek the death penalty.
The District Attorney’s Office will continue to work hard to ensure that justice is done and is committed to assisting the victims through the judicial process.