A motive has reportedly emerged in the case of a Texas man accused of opening fire at an El Paso Walmart, killing 20 people and injuring numerous others.
ABC News reports that 21-year-old Patrick Crusius has been arrested and charged with capital murder in connection with a Saturday morning mass shooting at the Walmart off of Hawkins and Gateway East boulevards. Twenty people were killed when the suspect allegedly started shooting at innocent victims. Officials said many others are in area hospitals, in critical condition.
Authorities said during a Sunday press conference that the case is being treated as domestic terrorism and they’ll be seeking the death penalty. El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen added that Crusius readily admitted to the shootings after being detained.
“He was forthcoming with information. He basically didn’t hold anything back,” Allen said.
Two law enforcement officials told ABC News that the suspect admitted to investigators “he wanted to shoot as many Mexicans as possible.”
The outlet reports that the Walmart where the shootings took place is in an area where Mexican tourists frequently visit. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador indicated that three Mexican nationals were killed during the massacre.
Officials in El Paso, Texas are holding a news conference on yesterday's mass shooting. Police say a 21-year-old killed 20 people and injured dozens at a Walmart. We'll have updates throughout the day on Channel 2 Action News.
Posted by WSB-TV on Sunday, August 4, 2019
As CrimeOnline previously reported, witness Vanessa Saenz, who spotted the alleged shooter, told FOX News that the man was holding a dark rifle while pointing and shooting at people.
Saenz, who had her 1-year-old son with her, said the suspect was wearing a black shirt, cargo pants, and had ear muffs on his ears. Saenz said she saw a woman in the Walmart parking lot fall down after the suspect apparently shot her. She said she also heard a string of popping sounds and spotted a man who looked like he was dancing.
“He was just pointing at people and just shooting straight at them,” Saenz said. “I saw three to four [people] fall to the ground.”
Saenz also added that she saw the suspect casually stroll into the Walmart, “nonchalant as if he was on a mission.”
“On a day that would have been normal for someone to leisurely go shopping turned into one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas. Lives were taken who should still be with us today,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said during a conference.
“We as a state unite in support of these victims and their family members.”
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Edie Hallberg via Ap/Andres Leighton]