The mother of the suspected gunman behind the deadly El Paso shooting on Saturday had previously called police with concerns about her son owning a gun, lawyers for the family have said.
Chris Ayres and R. Jack Ayres, attorneys for the family of Patrick Crusius, told CNN that Crusius’s mother had contacted police in Allen, Texas, with concerns about an AK-type firearm her 21-year-old son had purchased. The lawyers reportedly said the suspect’s mother was concerned about her son’s maturity and ability to handle such a weapon, as he did not have any experience or training.
It is not clear from the report exactly when the suspect’s mother made the call, described by the lawyers as “informational” in nature. She was reportedly transferred to a public information officer who told her that based on the information given, her son was legally permitted to own the weapon. The woman did not provide her or her son’s name, the attorneys told CNN.
Crusius allegedly opened fire at an El Paso Walmart on Saturday morning, killing 21 people and injuring dozens more. He surrendered to police, who reportedly arrived on the scene within six minutes of an active shooter call. Crusius reportedly used an AK-style rifle in the Walmart shooting but it is unclear if it is the same weapon his mother called about.
CNN requested reports of incidents involving the shooter from the Allen Police Department, which did not provide any documentation regarding his mother’s reported call. Police told CNN they had records of three incidents involving Crusius, and none of them involved violence or any criminal activity on his part.
Crusius was once reported as a runaway but returned 30 minutes later, Allen police told CNN. He was also a passenger on a bus that was involved in an accident; and in one instance police responded to a false burglar alarm at his home. These incidents “are the entirety of our dealings with Mr. Crusius, in any capacity, be it suspect, witness, reporting party, or in any other manner,” police told CNN.
The lawyers told CNN that Crusius’s mother was not concerned at the time that her son would use the weapon for a violent criminal act.
“This was not a volatile, explosive, erratic behaving kid,” said Chris Ayres. “It’s not like alarm bells were going off.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Crusius is believed to be the author of a manifesto posted to the message board 8chan the morning of the shooting. The manifesto, titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” reportedly includes anti-immigrant sentiments and cites a “Hispanic invasion” of the U.S. Crusius reportedly told police that he wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible. According to AZCentral.com, 8 of the 21 people killed in the massacre were Mexican nationals.
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[Feature image: Walmart employees at a vigil for the victims of the El Paso shooting; AP Photo/John Locher]