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 July 7, 2023

Texas man sentenced to 90 consecutive life sentences after killing 23, injuring 22 others

A man from Texas has been handed 90 life sentences in a row for his role in a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, in 2019, where he killed 23 people and injured 22 others.

The man, Patrick Wood Crusius, 24, pleaded guilty to a 90-count indictment on February 8. The indictment included 45 counts of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and 45 counts of using a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence. Crusius was sentenced to one life sentence for each count in the indictment.

The U.S. Department Of Justice further elaborated, in a press release, the indictment included hate crime acts that resulted in the deaths of 23 individuals and hate crime acts that caused bodily injury and involved attempts to kill 22 people injured in the shooting. In addition to the hate crimes, Crusius was sentenced for 45 firearms violations.

Condemnation of Hate-Fueled Violence

Before the sentencing, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland expressed his views on the case. He said:

“No one in this country should have to live in fear of hate-fueled violence – that they will be targeted because of what they look like or where they are from.”

Garland added that the 90 consecutive life sentences guarantee that Crusius will spend the rest of his life in prison for his deadly, racist rampage in El Paso. He thanked the victims and their family members who bravely shared the devastation and pain they endured because of Crusius’s horrendous crimes.

FBI Director Christopher Wray also spoke about the sentencing. He said:

“We are hopeful today's sentence brings a sense of justice, but the memories of the victims and our support for their families and the survivors doesn't end here.”

Wray added that the FBI will continue to help the El Paso community heal for as long as it takes. He assured that when anyone in their communities is threatened with violence or hate, the FBI will work with them side by side to fight for justice and hold the perpetrators accountable.

Justice Department's Commitment to Combating Hate Crimes

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division also commented on the sentencing. She said:

“We hope this sentence will bring some small measure of justice to those impacted by this massacre of innocent people targeted for no other reason than their Hispanic identity and national origin.”

Clarke described the hate crime as one of the most horrific acts of white nationalist-driven violence in modern times. She emphasized the importance of remembering the legacies of those who lost their lives and those who survived this tragedy. She also reiterated the Justice Department's commitment to confronting white nationalist hate crimes.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Leachman for the Western District of Texas also spoke about the sentencing. She said:

“This defendant systematically targeted and killed 23 innocent people, injured 22 more, and forever changed the lives of so many others who witnessed this horrific event, leaving a haunting scar on the El Paso/Ciudad Juarez community and beyond.”

Leachman expressed hope that the sentence of 90 consecutive life terms brings some finality and peace to those affected. She assured that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas will continue to aggressively prosecute those who commit violence because of bias or hate, seeking justice in the names of the victims and their loved ones.

Crusius's Admissions and Manifesto

According to court documents, Crusius admitted that he killed and wounded people at the Walmart because of the actual and perceived national origin of the people he expected to be at the Walmart. He further admitted that he intended to kill everyone he shot.

Crusius also admitted he wrote a manifesto, titled “An Inconvenient Truth,” and uploaded it to the internet minutes before he commenced his attack. In it, he characterized himself as a white nationalist, motivated to kill Hispanics because they were immigrating to the United States. Crusius admitted to selecting El Paso, a border city, as his target to dissuade Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants from coming to the United States.

The FBI investigated the case, in partnership with the El Paso Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); the Texas Department of Public Safety; the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office; the El Paso County Office of the Medical Examiner; the Allen Police Department; and the Dallas Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ian Hanna, Gregory McDonald, and Patricia Acosta for the Western District of Texas’ El Paso Division and Trial Attorneys Kyle Boynton of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section and Michael Warbel of the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Section prosecuted the case.

Justice Is Served

    • Patrick Wood Crusius was sentenced to 90 consecutive life sentences for a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in 2019.
    • The shooting resulted in the deaths of 23 people and injuries to 22 others.
    • Crusius pleaded guilty to a 90-count indictment, including hate crimes and firearms violations.
    • The Justice Department officials expressed their commitment to combating hate crimes and ensuring justice for the victims.
    • Crusius admitted to targeting people based on their national origin and wrote a manifesto expressing his white nationalist views.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.
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