Patrick Crusius: El Paso shooting suspect says he was targeting Mexicans, police say

'I'm the shooter'

Andrew Buncombe
Seattle
Friday 09 August 2019 21:05
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'This will only make it stronger': El Paso residents react to shooting

The suspect in the murder of 22 people during a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso has admitted he was targeting “Mexicans”, according to a police affidavit obtained by US media

Patrick Crusius reportedly stopped his vehicle on an intersection near the supermarket, got out with his hands up and said: “I'm the shooter.”

The affidavit, a copy of which was obtained by the Washington Post, claims the 21-year-old immediately admitted opening fire on customers and staff.

The supermarket is known to be popular with Mexican shoppers who cross the nearby border from the city of Juarez. Of those who lost their lives, 13 were American, eight Mexican and one German.

The revelations, contained in the affidavit filed in court by El Paso detective Adrian Garcia on Sunday, came as Donald Trump claimed he had influence over Congress to secure meaningful gun control in the form of “very meaningful background checks”.

“I see a better feeling right now towards getting something meaningful done,” Mr Trump told reporters at the White House. “I have a greater influence now over the Senate and the House.”

The document filed by police says officers responding to the scene on Saturday, spotted a car stopped at an intersection not far from the Walmart. They then saw a man, identified as the suspect, get out of the car with his hands in the air, the affidavit said.

It said Mr Crusius then waived his Miranda rights and agreed to speak with detectives, telling them he entered the store with an AK-47 assault rifle and multiple magazines, and that he was targeting Mexicans.

Trump attacked immigrants for 'murders, killings, murders' during most recent El Paso visit, months ahead of shooting

Twenty-two people were killed and about two dozen were injured. Most of the dead had Hispanic last names and eight were Mexican nationals.

Authorities believe that shortly before the attack, Mr Crusius posted a racist screed online that railed against an influx of hispanics into the US. The language contained in the document, is very similar to some of that used by Mr Trump when speaking about immigration.

Many El Paso residents have accused the president’s racist rhetoric of fuelling such bigotry, though he has denied his language is racist.

This week he claimed he “brings people together. Our country is doing incredibly well”.

Authorities say Mr Crusius drove more than 10 hours from his hometown near Dallas to carry out the shooting in the largely Latino border city.

While Mr Trump has vowed to get tough on gun control, something many of his critics doubt, he has also told the powerful National Rifle Association, which spent $30m to help elect him, its pro-gun views would be “fully represented and respected.

Additional reporting by agencies

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