Man who killed 23 at El Paso Walmart pleads guilty to hate crimes

Patrick Crusius, after more than 3½ years, pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to various charges of weapons and hate crimes, following the heartbreaking massacre of 23 people in El Paso’s Vista Cielo Mall near Walmart, where he walked into.

While the charges were being read, he maintained a stoic demeanor in the courtroom, clad in a navy blue jumpsuit from the detention center and donning a white face mask.

Will likely be sentenced to 90 consecutive life terms in June, as per the plea agreement. His attorneys made an announcement that he would plead guilty a few days later, after the U.S. Justice Department chose not to pursue capital punishment due to the shooter’s eligibility for multiple life sentences.

On July 9, 2020, he was charged with 90 offenses in a new federal indictment.

Jessica Garcia, the wife of Guillermo “Memo” Garcia, who was shot at Walmart and passed away nine months later, was not present among them. Numerous relatives of the victims were present at the court hearing on Wednesday.

Later, I desire to possess the bravery to articulate my thoughts. I can express my sentiments at a subsequent time, thus I desire to reserve them. Jessica Garcia conveyed to El Paso Matters, “I am unwilling to expend my feelings on the present moment.”

Garcia expressed confusion over the federal government’s decision not to pursue capital punishment.

Here is the reversed version of the input paragraph: “I don’t want to hate him anymore,” she said. “I don’t want to allow him to take me away from him, as he has already done.” … “I’m just a little disappointed in the justice system.” There is no amount of justice or punishment that will bring justice back. “I don’t know what would make me content when Memo is no longer here.”

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According to law enforcement, approximately 1,500 individuals were present inside the store. Crusius drove for almost 10 hours on August 3, 2019, from the Allen suburb of Dallas to El Paso, where his vehicle was parked at Walmart, following a drive through a neighborhood near Cielo Vista Mall.

22 individuals were injured, and 23 people were fatally wounded when he entered the store and resumed shooting. He walked into the store, retrieved a semi-automatic AK-47-style rifle from his car, and continued to fire into the store while also shooting in the parking lot. Before all this, he had entered the store to buy food, according to officials.

Garcia “Memo” Guillermo and Sanchez Teresa, Jr. Campos Leonardo, Reckard Margie, Manzano Filiberto Ivan, Juarez Alfonzo Luis, Mora la de Mendoza Elsa, Hoffman Gerhard Alexander, Garcia Calvillo Jorge, Flores Raul, Roth Legarreta Eugencia Maria, Flores Maria, Márquez Irma Gloria, Chairez Veláquez Dios de Juan, Hernandez Cerros Adolfo, Englisbee Silva Angelina, Moriel Regalado Ester Sara, Johnson Alvah David, Rodriguez Amir Javier, Benavidez Arturo, Campos Maribel, and Anchondo Andre Jordan were tragically lost in the assault.

Silva-Englisbee, aged 86, was the eldest, while Rodriguez, at the age of 15, was the youngest victim. In the following few days, the majority of them perished at the location or fell victim to their injuries.

He said that Americans who were seeking to replace immigrants with white supremacists were also on the popular website. Shortly before the shooting, Crusius posted on the website, stating that this attack is a response to the invasion of Hispanics in Texas.

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The rhetoric used by some conservative media and political figures, mirroring the rhetoric used by the gunman, continues to describe the large-scale migration from the south border as a “great replacement” and an “invasion” by people of color replacing people of white.

The deadliest attack in modern U.S. History was the relentless assault on Hispanic individuals. Although not all of the victims of the shooter were Mexicans or Mexican-Americans, the majority were.

In places of worship and public spaces, individuals assembled to grieve for those who lost their lives and were harmed. They formed queues consisting of numerous individuals to contribute blood for the individuals affected by the tragedy, and the shocking and enraging incident left El Paso residents in a state of disbelief.

Many of those leaders, including Democratic U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, stated that Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric was inciting animosity. Despite the majority of El Paso leaders urging him not to visit, Donald Trump, who was the president at the time, traveled to El Paso on Aug. 7, 2019.

All shooting victims hospitalized at University Medical Center of El Paso refused to meet with Trump while he was in El Paso.

The state intends to pursue the death penalty, as previously mentioned by Hicks. El Paso District Attorney Bill Hicks recently stated that the trial may not occur until 2025, and no specific trial date has been established. Crusius is still confronted with state capital murder charges that potentially entail the possibility of capital punishment.

This article was initially released on El Paso Matters.

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