On Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, a federal grand jury in El Paso, Texas, indicted Patrick Wood Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas, on hate crimes and firearm charges in connection with the murder of 22 people and attempted murder of 23 others at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on August 3, 2019. The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas John F. Bash, and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s El Paso Field Office Luis M. Quesada.
The indictment alleges that on August 3, 2019, Crusius opened fire with an assault rifle and shot multiple individuals in and around the Walmart Supercenter in El Paso, leading to the death of 22 individuals and injuring many more. The indictment further alleges that, on the same date as the shooting, Crusius uploaded to the internet a document he had drafted entitled “The Inconvenient Truth.” The document opened by stating, “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by the invasion.” The indictment charges that Crusius willfully caused bodily injury to the victims because of the actual and perceived national origin of any person.
In total, the ninety-count indictment charges Crusius with 22 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, 23 hate crimes involving an attempt to kill, and 45 counts of discharging a firearm in relation to the hate crimes.
Upon conviction, the charges in the indictment call for the death penalty or life imprisonment. The Attorney General will decide whether to seek the death penalty at a later time. Should the Attorney General determine that the circumstances of the offense are such that a sentence of death is justified, the law requires that notice be filed with the court at a reasonable time before trial. Crusius is currently in state custody pending state criminal charges.
The FBI, with the support of the El Paso Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, El Paso County Office of the Medical Examiner, Allen Police Department and Dallas Police Department, conducted this investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ian Hanna and Greg McDonald of the Western District of Texas, and U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorneys Tim Visser and Michael Warbel.
It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.