The suspect in the El Paso, Texas Walmart shooting was indicted on 90 federal charges, including 44 federal hate crimes on Thursday. Federal prosecutors said they want Patrick Wood Crusius of Allen, Texas held without bond. The 21-year-old already pleaded not guilty to a state capital murder charge in October and has been held without bond since the Aug. 3, 2019 shooting.
The new federal charges include 22 counts each of hate crime resulting in death, hate crime involving attempt to fill and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, reports the El Paso Times. Crusius also faces 21 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder during an in relation to a crime of violence.
U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas John Bash told reporters the new hate crime charges show how the department is committed to slowing the "resurgent threat of violence motivated by race, national origins and other categories," reports Fox News. Bash said the case is considered domestic terrorism.
"We're going to take the fight to the violent extremists and we are going to win," Bash added.
The federal indictment alleges Crusius bought a GP WASR-10 semiautomatic rifle and 1,000 rounds of hollow-point ammunition on a website in June 2019. Prosecutors also said Crusius first wrote a document before the shooting outlining how the attack was a "response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas." The document also cited the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, where 51 people were killed in coordinated attacks on mosques.
According to prosecutors, Crusius drove 10 hours from his grandparents home just outside Dallas to El Paso, near the U.S.-Mexico border, to carry out the attack. After he was arrested, he surrendered and allegedly said, "I'm the shooter" and said he was targeting Mexicans.
Last year, Crusius pleaded not guilty to a state capital murder charge. The state case will still be prosecuted and could result in the death penalty if Crusius is convicted.0comments
"We support the indictment by the U.S. Attorney's Office as one more way of holding the shooter accountable," El Paso County District Attorney Jamie Esparza said in a statement. "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. The office will fully cooperate with the U.S. Attorney's Office in the prosecution of the federal charges announced today."
The federal indictment was announced just after the six-month anniversary of the shooting. Twenty-two people were killed, including eight Mexican citizens.