The grandparents of the man accused of killing 21 people and injuring numerous others during a Saturday morning shooting at an El Paso Walmart, said that they are beyond devastated by their grandson’s actions.
According to CBS News, the grandparents 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, who’s currently behind bars facing a capital murder charge, indicated that the suspect had previously lived with them while taking college courses at a nearby community college, but moved out six weeks prior to the shooting.
A friend of the grandparents read a written statement from them on Sunday, explaining that the written statement would be the only one given to media at this time.
“We are devastated by the events of El Paso and pray for the victims of this tragedy. Patrick Crusius is our grandson. He lived with us in our house in Allen, Texas while he attended junior college at Collin County College. He moved out six weeks ago and spent a few nights here while we were out of town. His drivers license and mailing address were at our house in Allen — that connection has made us the focus of media. We are talking only to law enforcement agencies and will not be making further statements to the media. We request the media to honor our privacy.”
The grandparents’ friend added that they were praying for the victims’ families.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the Saturday morning shooting happened 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.
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
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[Feature Photo via AP//John Locher]