El Paso shooting: Prosecutor plans to pursue death penalty
The man accused of opening fire in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart, killing 22 people and wounding several others, has been indicted on a capital murder charge, the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office said following the grand jury’s Thursday decision.
District Attorney Jaime Esparza intends to seek the death penalty in the Aug. 3 massacre, according to a statement.
“The District Attorney’s Office will continue to work hard to ensure that justice is done and is committed to assisting the victims through the judicial process,” the statement said.
Capital murder is the highest charge in Texas, Esparza’s office said, and is punishable by death or life in prison without parole.
In the days after the deadly rampage, suspected gunman Patrick Crusius of Allen, Texas, was placed on suicide watch based on the recommendation of medical staff, El Paso County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Leslie Antunez told CNN on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old is being held at the El Paso County Detention Facility without bond.
He is accused of opening fire on unsuspecting shoppers at the Cielo Vista Walmart in the west Texas city near the Mexican border.
He surrendered and identified himself as the shooter following the massacre, police said. He told police that he was targeting Mexicans, according to an arrest affidavit.
While in custody, the suspect has been “cold” in his interactions with police, authorities told CNN last month.
Days after his arrest, Police Chief Greg Allen told reporters that the suspect had been cooperative, though he’s shown no remorse and “appears to be in a state of shock and confusion.”
The suspected shooter is believed by investigators to have authored a racist, anti-immigrant document that stated his disdain for Hispanic immigrants whom he said were overtaking America.
The four-page document, titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” was published on the online message board 8chan about 20 minutes before the shooting, authorities said.
The writing is filled with white supremacist language and racist hatred aimed at immigrants and Latinos, and the author says he opposes “race mixing” and encourages immigrants to return to their home countries.
CNN’s Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.