A 21-year old man, Patrick Crusius, from Allen, Texas was accused of using AK-47 riffle in El Paso Walmart attack. According to the police records, during the arrest, Patrick Crusius confessed the crime and his arrest warrant says he declared “I’m the shooter”. He confessed his motive was to kill as many Mexicans as possible and declared white –supremacist online before the attack. Around two-dozen people survived in attack with injuries.
In the courtroom, Crusius told the judge he did not want to hear the charges read against him. He pleaded “not guilty”. Around 1 pm court doors were opened and the courtroom filled quickly. The first floor of the El Paso County Courthouse filled with around 80 members witnesses his first appearance.
Delegations from Mexican Consulate also witnessed among the crowd. The open shooting killed eight Mexican citizens and other victims had Hispanic last names. A German citizen who lived in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, was among the dead.
Crime is weighted with capital murder and hate crime charges by Federal authorities. Department of Justice called shooting acts as domestic terrorism. The death penalty is sought by a local prosecutor.
Pieces of evidence include police and FBI interviews with Crusius, data from his cell phone, records from Dallas –area schools he attended and ten hours of footage captured in Walmart camera during the act.
Crusius’ legal team has appealed for open minds, “There are two sides to this story,” said Mark Stevens of San Antonio, lead defense attorney. ”… We’ll ask everybody, media and everybody else, to keep an open mind until you hear both sides of the story, what comes out in the courtroom.”
Joe Spencer of El Paso, assistant defense attorney, said he and Stevens “are morally opposed to the death penalty” and that they “will use every breath we have to try to save Patrick’s life.” He added that the El Paso community needs closure and healing, “and the quickest way to get closure and healing is not through seeking the death penalty.”