Lawyer assigned to man charged in El Paso attack

The man suspected of the El Paso shooting that and left at least 22 people dead has been assigned a public defender.

Court records show that San Antonio lawyer Mark Stevens was appointed Monday to represent Patrick Crusius, who is charged with capital murder in El Paso County. Stevens, a veteran criminal defense attorney, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Authorities are investigating the massacre as an act of domestic terrorism and Crusius could also be charged with a hate crime in federal court. Authorities are looking into whether Crusius posted a racist, anti-immigrant creed on the internet shortly before Saturday’s attack.

Crusius said in his application for a public defender that he has been unemployed for five months and has no income or assets.

The Texas border city still reeling from a weekend mass shooting in which 22 people were killed is opening a community center to help residents grieve.

El Paso officials announced Tuesday visitors to the center can receive counseling, travel assistance and financial support. Fire Chief Mario D’Agostino says anyone who needs to talk or who needs help moving forward from the tragedy is welcome.

The death toll in Saturday’s shooting nearly matches the number of homicides El Paso had in all of 2018. Authorities have charged 21-year-old Patrick Crusius with capital murder.

Authorities say Crusius drove more than 10 hours to the border from his hometown near Dallas. A racist, anti-Hispanic screed was posted online before the shooting in the mostly Latino city of 700,000 people.

President Donald Trump will visit El Paso on Wednesday.

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