A shopper was shot several times while trying to stop a gunman from opening fire on others at the El Paso Walmart on Saturday. He claims the shooter targeted only Hispanic people while ignoring others and allowing them to leave.
El Paso Times reports that Chris Grant was shopping at Walmart when he heard gunshots ring out in succession. Grant reportedly said had the opportunity to leave with the others, but decided to stay behind. In an attempt to stop the shooter, Grant but he said he threw soda bottles at the gunman’s head. The shooter retaliated by shooting Grant twice by the ribcage.
Grant is now recovering at the Del Sol Medical Center.
“I did what any good man would have done,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday. “I started throwing random bottles at him. I’m not a baseball player, so one went this way, one went that way.”
After getting shot, Grant said he stayed on the ground and with a clear view of the shooter, identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, he watched the gunman shoot victims in the head while they were already on the ground.
“They were on the ground, and he still shot them in the head … He had no remorse for their lives at all. I could just tell he was prepared.”
Grant said he also heard desperate prayers being whispered in Spanish, while victims laid on the ground or hid under tables. Grant teared up while explaining how he watched as the gunman shot a couple dead in front of their child.
“One little girl saw her parents get killed right in front of her. How much hate do you have to have in your heart to do that?”
Grant eventually mustered up enough energy to run out of the store. Once he reached the outside, he spotted US Customs and Border Protection Agent Donna Sifford, who he now refers to as his guardian angel.
Sifford helped Grant patch up his wounds, then helped him into the back of an off-duty officer’s truck, who then rushed him to the hospital.
Grant recounted the story to his family again on Tuesday, while they visited him in the hospital, according to El Paso Times.
“He stated that the shooter was targeting Mexicans and was passing whites, African Americans,” Laura Hromatka, Grant’s former wife, told the outlet.
Meanwhile, Grant, although lucky to be alive, said he would have traded his life for the victims.
“If I could trade my life for that little girl’s life I saw killed, I would do it in a second. She had school supplies. I’m 50 years old. My life is almost over, so I would have traded my life for that life any day of the week. Why would you kill an innocent child?”
Two children have been confirmed injured and taken to a children’s hospital. One child, 15-year-old Javier Rodriguez, was killed in the massacre. However, officials have not indicated that any other child has died.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 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. At least 22 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.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Mexico plans to take action “under international law.”
“Mexico declares its profound rejection and complete condemnation of this barbaric act, in which innocent Mexican men and women lost their lives,” Ebrard said on Twitter.
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline for additional details.
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[AP Photo/John Locher]