The gunman was arrested in the killing of 22 people in El Paso, Texas, and Walmart crowded with shoppers returning to school and charged with premeditated murder. The authorities treat the attack as domestic terrorism.
The US Attorney for the West Texas District, John Bash, said the shooting was a “domestic terrorism case” because it “was aimed at the very least to intimidate the civilian population.”
“We will do what we do with terrorists in this country, which is a swift and sure justice,” Bash said.
His office tracks federal hate crime charges and federal firearms charges that are punishable by law. The attack was the worst mass shooting of the year and among the 10 deadliest mass shootings in recent American history.
El Paso District Attorney Jaime Esparza told reporters that Texas intends to seek the death penalty.
“We’ll hold him accountable,” Esparza said.
“We have never seen this before in our community, we are a very safe community, and we are very proud of ourselves because we are so safe,” the prosecutor said. “This community was shaken, shocked and sad by what happened here yesterday.”
El Paso County records on Sunday show that 21-year-old Patrick Wood Crossius, from North Texas, has been held in a downtown prison in the Texas border city. There was no immediate indication that he had a lawyer.
Texas officials said Croceus opened fire on Walmart, located west of the Cielo Vista Mall, across from a parking lot, in an attack that also wounded 26 people. Among the dead were at least three Mexican citizens and a young couple, protecting their child
A security video showed a skinny young man coming from the front door of Walmart, dressed in a black T-shirt and khaki pants, and carrying an AK-47 military rifle with an expanded-capacity magazine that witnesses said had gone from hallway to driveway.
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said the suspect was cooperating with the information. Allen also said that the bodies had been removed from the scene.
The shooting was reported at 10:39 am local time. Police arrived by 10:45 a.m. Photos and videos on social media showed the victims inside the Walmart Super Center.
“Our hearts go out to those who were injured … the families of those who might have been killed,” said de Margo, the mayor of El Paso.
A resident of Allen, Texas, Croeseus turned 21 last week.
Another person was taken into custody, although it was not clear how this person was related to the attack.
“At this time, we have ruled out multiple shootings,” Sgt. At El Paso Police Department. Robert Gomez said Saturday afternoon.
Allen said an investigation was underway into the attack as a hate crime. Law enforcement officials believe Crusius posted a racist anti-immigrant article online right before the shooting
“I heard the bullets but thought they were hit, like building a roof,” said Walmart shopper Adriana Quizada.
Quesada, 39, was in the womenswear division of Walmart with her two children. Quesada’s 19-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son threw themselves on the ground, then exited Walmart via the emergency exit. She said they were unharmed.
Walmart tweeted on Saturday afternoon, “We are shocked by the tragic events at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, where Store 2201 and Club 6502. We are praying for victims, the community and our partners, as well as first responders. We are working closely with law enforcement and we will update. As appropriate. “
The area where the police meet is located east of downtown El Paso, near the city’s international airport about two miles from the Mexican border.
“There has to be a point where sufficiency suffices. That’s enough,” said Democratic Representative Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso in Congress, in an interview on MSNBC. “We are plagued by armed violence in this country and unnecessary tragedy week after week after week, and it is time for reasonable legislation to prevent violence using firearms.”