EL PASO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — North Texan Patrick Crusius has pleaded not guilty to capital murder in the fatal shooting of 22 people at an El Paso Walmart this summer.
Crusius entered the plea Thursday during his first appearance before a trial judge in El Paso. Police said Crusius — who travelled from his home in the Dallas suburb of Allen — confessed to targeting Mexicans in the Aug. 3 attack in the largely Latino border city.
The 21-year-old attended Liberty High School in Frisco but later transferred to Plano Senior High School, where he graduated in 2017. He also attended Collin College from fall 2017 to spring 2019.
Shortly after the shooting, El Paso District Attorney Jaime Esparza announced that he and prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Crusius.
Most of those killed in the shooting had Hispanic last names and eight were Mexican nationals. The Department of Justice has called it an act of domestic terrorism.
Over two dozen people were injured in the attack. Hospital officials said as of early October, two of them still remain hospitalized.
Since Crusius plea, his family has since made the following statement:
Our family is aware of today’s arraignment in Patrick’s case and his plea of not guilty. Again, we continue to pray for the victims and everyone involved, including all those now tasked with their roles in the process of our judicial system.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)