El Paso Walmart shooting: suspect identified as Patrick krusias as 20 killed in El Paso – live updates today – CBS News
What we know:
- 20 people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting near shopping mall in El Paso.
- The white male suspect has been identified as Patrick Crusius. He was taken into custody without incident.
- At least 22 people hospitalized, including one who died; 9 in critical but stable condition; one patient is 4 months old.
- Prosecutors are pursuing a civil rights hate crime investigation and domestic terrorism charges.
Prosecutors in El Paso, Texas, will seek the death penalty for the man suspected of killing 20 people and injuring more than two dozen others. U.S. Attorney John Bash said they will pursue a criminal investigation, a civil rights hate crime investigation and “domestic terrorism” charges against the suspect, who was identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius.
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said Crusius purchased his weapon legally and said police were beginning to remove bodies from the scene on Sunday.
In the hours following the attack, there was another mass shooting across the country in Dayton, Ohio. Police said nine people were killed by a gunman who was shot to death by responding officers.
Officials have referenced a document allegedly left behind by Crusius, and said the shooting may have a “nexus” to a hate crime. The writer of the document denounces the increasing Hispanic population of Texas and gives that as a reason for his actions.
Many of the victims in El Paso were shot at a Walmart. The shopping area is about 5 miles from the main border checkpoint with Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
“The scene was a horrific one,” said Allen, adding that many of the 26 people who were hurt had life-threatening injuries.
Ryan Mielke, a spokesman for University Medical Center of El Paso, said 13 of the injured were brought to the hospital with injuries, including one who died. Two of the injured were children who were transferred to El Paso Children’s Hospital, he said.
Eleven other victims ages 35 to 82 were being treated at Del Sol Medical Center, hospital spokesman Victor Guerrero said.
A U.S. soldier stationed at nearby Fort Bliss was at the mall when the shooting unfolded. Glendon Oakley said that, as soon as heard two gunshots, he took the threat seriously.
“We run towards Dillard’s, and it’s like a play pen over there. I see a whole bunch of kids like, without their parents running around screaming and crying, so I grab as many as possible,” Oakley told CBS affiliate WMAZ.
“I try to get a couple of other people too, you know, grab other kids, but parents are so worried about themselves, they’re gone,” Oakley said. “I’m thinking if I had a child, what would I want somebody else to do.”
Walmart released a statement, saying it was working with law enforcement and “praying for the victims, the community & our associates, as well as the first responders.”
U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, said on Twitter she was “heartbroken” by the incident and was monitoring the situation. Her predecessor, presidential candidate and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, appeared shaken as he spoke at a candidate forum in Las Vegas on Saturday shortly after news of the shooting in his hometown was reported.
O’Rourke said he had called his wife before taking the stage and said the shooting shatters “any illusion that we have that progress is inevitable” on tackling gun violence.
The Democrat said he’d heard early reports that the shooter might have had a military-style weapon, saying we need to “keep that (expletive) on the battlefield and do not bring it into our communities.”
“We have to find some reason for optimism and hope or else we consign ourselves to a future where nearly 40,000 people are year will lose their lives to gun violence and I cannot accept that,” O’Rourke said.
Pat Milton contributed to this report.