Authorities shared new details Monday about what the El Paso massacre suspect did before opening fire Saturday on a crowded Walmart, killing 22 people and wounding more than two dozen.
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said the 21-year-old suspect drove at least 10 hours from Allen and got lost in an El Paso neighborhood before he made his way to the Walmart — apparently hungry — and started shooting.
Allen said the accused gunman, Patrick Crusius, hasn’t shown remorse to investigators and “basically appears to be in a state of shock and confusion.”
The chief said Crusius legally purchased the 7.62 mm caliber weapon used in the El Paso attack near Allen, where he lived with his family.
In an application filed Sunday with the El Paso district clerk’s office, Crusius said he has been unemployed for five months and living with his grandparents. Larry and Cynthia Brown said in a written statement that their grandson had moved out six weeks ago and they were “devastated” by the attack.
Crusius remained jailed in El Paso, where he is being held without bond on a capital murder charge, as the death toll in the massacre rose by two Monday.
Police said 13 U.S. citizens, seven Mexican citizens and one German citizen died in the attack, along with one person whose citizenship hasn’t been determined.
As of Monday evening, 15 patients remained hospitalized, with two in critical condition.
Dr. Stephen Flaherty, trauma medical director at the Del Sol Medical Center, said the injuries the shooting victims suffered were the “devastating and major” results of high-velocity gunshot wounds.
Two patients at Del Sol Medical Center died Monday, CEO David Shimp said at a news conference: An elderly woman died overnight, and another patient died this morning.
The announcement of their deaths came shortly after President Donald Trump condemned the weekend shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, and called for a bipartisan response to gun violence.
Trump, who is set to visit El Paso on Wednesday, said he wanted to see laws requiring strong background checks for people seeking to purchase guns but provided few details.
His scripted statements included a denunciation of white supremacy.
“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Trump said “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.”
Trump also blamed mental illness and “gruesome and grisly video games” for mass shooting in the country.
“Mental illness and hate pulls the trigger, not the gun,” he said.
Police attribute an anti-immigrant “manifesto” posted to the online forum 8chan shortly before the massacre to the suspect.
8chan was offline sporadically on Monday, after its cybersecurity provider, Cloudflare, cut off services.
The message board, which has a history of use by violent extremists, quickly found a new online host: Epik.com. The company also hosts Gab.com, a site frequented by white supremacists and doesn’t ban hate speech, and owns the security company BitMitigate, whose clients include the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi and white supremacist site.
Neither 8chan nor the Daily Stormer was online Monday evening.
“8chan has repeatedly proven itself to be a cesspool of hate,” Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince wrote in a blog post. “They have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths.”
Source: Dallas Observer