Suspected El Paso Shooter Charged With Federal Hate Crimes

Patrick Crusius is suspected in the El Paso, Texas shooting that left 22 people dead and dozens injured.

Getty Images

The man accused of killing 22 people and injuring at least 23 others at an El Paso, Texas Walmart was indicted Thursday on 90 federal charges, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

The federal charges against Patrick Crusius, 21, came six months after a tragic mass shooting at a Walmart in Texas, which was the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern U.S. history. The indictment against the suspected shooter, of Allen, Texas, alleges that he attacked the victims “because of the actual and perceived national origin,” which violates federal hate crime laws.

click to play video

The suspected shooter was charged with 22 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, for each person who died; 23 counts involving an attempt to kill; and 45 counts of discharging a firearm. If convicted, he could face the death penalty or life in prison.

U.S. Attorney John F. Bash made the announcement with other officials, including Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI El Paso Division Special Agent in Charge Luis M. Quesada. U.S. Attorney General William Barr will decide whether federal authorities will pursue the death penalty, the U.S. Attorney’s statement said.

According to the statement, the suspected shooter posted a document online before the attack titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” in which wrote about a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

El Paso County District Attorney Jaime Esparza said in a statement to the Dallas Morning News that his office supports the federal indictment.

“The District Attorney’s Office will continue to work hard to ensure that justice is done and that the shooter is held accountable by our community,” Esparza said. “The office will fully cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the prosecution of the federal charges to be announced today.”

In October 2019, the suspected shooter pleaded not guilty to state charges, although reportshave said he allegedly confessed to police after the attack. He is expected to appear in court Wednesday to face the federal charges.