Reports are identifying the suspected gunman of the shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, that killed at least 20 people as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius. Although authorities have not yet officially identified Crusius as the suspect, El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen confirmed earlier reports that authorities are looking at what appears to be a manifesto that the suspect posted shortly before the shooting. “Right now we have a manifesto from this individual that indicates to some degree a nexus to a potential hate crime,” Allen said
“My ideology has not changed for several years. My opinions on automation, immigration, and the rest predate Trump and his campaign for president. I putting this here because some people will blame the President…for the attack. This is not the case. “
— Scott Stedman (@ScottMStedman) August 3, 2019
Although nothing is confirmed, online sources quickly linked to a four-page document posted on 4chan and 8chan and other places online. Titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” the document is an anti-immigrant screed that takes particular aim at the Hispanic community and expresses support for the Christchurch, New Zealand, shooter who opened fire at two mosques in March and killed 51 people. “In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion,” begins the screed. The manifesto includes lots of white supremacist language, such as claiming that the writer was “against race mixing.” It hardly seems a coincidence, then, that the shooting took place in El Paso, a city that is just across the border from Mexico.
The writer of the alleged manifesto also went into details about the shooting but claimed he “didn’t spend much time at all preparing for this attack,” claiming he had to “do this before I lose my nerve.” If it is the manifesto, though, something seems to have changed in his thinking because the writer of the manifesto said that “my death is likely inevitable” and being detained was “far worse than dying.” Reports claim police were able to detain Crusius without incident.
Crusius’ social media accounts were all taken down relatively quickly but not before some were able to detect that he liked a lot of alt-right content. He liked tweets that had the #BuildtheWall hashtag as well as “a photo using guns to spell out ‘Trump,’ and posts from Paul Joseph Watson, a far-right Youtuber who works with Alex Jones at InfoWars,” notes the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Crusius’ last known address was in Allen, Texas, which is a suburb of Dallas. It isn’t clear if Crusius had a connection to El Paso or whether he traveled the 660 miles between the two cities specifically to carry out the shooting. Texas state Rep. Jeff Leach confirmed Crusius lived in Allen and graduated from Plano Senior High in 2017. Collin College, a community college in the area, issued a statement confirming that a student named Patrick Crusius was enrolled from fall 2017 through spring 2019.
Donald Trump’s anti-migrant rhetoric has stoked racism in the United States and led directly to increased violence such as the mass shooting in El Paso on Saturday , according to Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.
As police investigated the possibility that the gun rampage in the Texas city was a hate crime aimed at Latino immigrants, O’Rourke accused the president of being a “racist” who was trying to make Americans “afraid” of migrants.
There was a link between Trump’s hostile comments about Muslims, migrants and people of colour to a rise in hate crimes, O’Rourke told CNN after cutting short campaigning in Nevada to return to El Paso, his hometown and a city he represented for six years in Congress.
Asked if the shooting was Trump’s fault for inflaming hatred, he said “yes”.
A law enforcement official in El Paso told me the Walmart shooter is in custody. Patrick Crusius of Dallas. Just turned 21 years old this week. pic.twitter.com/CEJh6rYij1
— Anna Giaritelli (@Anna_Giaritelli) August 3, 2019