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Texas man sentenced to 90 consecutive life sentences for 2019 mass shooting at Walmart

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A Texas man has been sentenced to 90 consecutive life sentences in prison for carrying out a mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

The attack which happened on Aug. 3, 2019, claimed 23 lives and injured 22 more.

According to reports, on Feb. 8, Patrick Wood Crusius, 24, pleaded guilty to a 90-count indictment with 45 counts of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and 45 counts of using a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence.

It was reported that, “the defendant was sentenced to one life sentence for each count in the indictment, including for hate crime acts that resulted in the deaths of Andre Anchondo, Jordan Anchondo, Arturo Benavides, Jorge Calvillo Garcia, Guillermo Garcia, Leonardo Campos, Angelina Englisbee, Maria Flores, Raul Flores, Adolfo Cerros Hernandez, Alexander Hoffmann, David Johnson, Luis Alfonso Juarez, Maria Legarreta Rothe, Maribel Loya Hernandez, Ivan Filiberto Manzano, Gloria Irma Marquez, Elsa Mendoza Marquez, Margie Reckard, Sara Regalado Monreal, Javier Amir Rodriguez, Teresa Sanchez, and Juan Velasquez.”

Mr Crusius was also sentenced for 22 counts of hate crime acts that caused bodily injury and involved attempts to kill 22 people injured in the shooting.

In addition to the hate crimes, Mr Crusius was sentenced for 45 firearms violations, including 23 counts of using a firearm in a federal crime of violence resulting in death, and 22 counts of using a firearm in a federal crime of violence.

“No one in this country should have to live in fear of hate-fueled violence – that they will be targeted because of what they look like or where they are from,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The 90 consecutive life sentences announced today guarantee that Patrick Crusius will spend the rest of his life in prison for his deadly, racist rampage in El Paso. We are grateful to the victims and their family members who have spent the last three days bravely sharing the devastation and pain they endured because of Crusius’s horrendous crimes. The Justice Department’s commitment to combating hate crimes is unwavering.”

“We are hopeful today’s sentence brings a sense of justice, but the memories of the victims and our support for their families and the survivors doesn’t end here,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “FBI employees are members of the communities we serve, and in El Paso, we will continue to help our neighbors and friends heal for as long as it takes. When anyone in our communities is threatened with violence or hate, the FBI will work with them side by side to fight for justice and we will hold the perpetrators accountable.”

“We hope this sentence will bring some small measure of justice to those impacted by this massacre of innocent people targeted for no other reason than their Hispanic identity and national origin,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This hate crime, that extinguished the lives of 23 innocent people, stands as one of the most horrific acts of white nationalist-driven violence in modern times. We lift up the legacies of those who lost their lives and those who survived this tragedy and will ensure that they are never forgotten. Make no mistake, white nationalist hate crimes have no place in our country today and we must bring every tool at our disposal to confront this threat.”

“This defendant systematically targeted and killed 23 innocent people, injured 22 more, and forever changed the lives of so many others who witnessed this horrific event, leaving a haunting scar on the El Paso/Ciudad Juarez community and beyond,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Leachman for the Western District of Texas. “While today’s sentence cannot possibly replace the lives lost or undo the harm done to the survivors and those otherwise impacted by this horrific event, it is our hope this sentence of 90 consecutive life terms brings some finality and peace to those effected. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas will continue to aggressively prosecute those who commit violence because of bias or hate, seeking justice in the names of the victims and their loved ones.”

According to court documents, Mr Crusius previously admitted that he killed and wounded people at the Walmart because of the actual and perceived national origin of the people he expected to be at the Walmart. He further admitted that he intended to kill everyone he shot.

Mr Crusius also admitted he wrote a manifesto titled “An Inconvenient Truth,” and uploaded it to the internet minutes before he commenced his attack. In it, he characterised himself as a white nationalist, motivated to kill Hispanics because they were immigrating to the United States. Mr Crusius admitted to selecting El Paso, a border city, as his target to dissuade Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants from coming to the United States.

The FBI investigated the case in partnership with the El Paso Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); the Texas Department of Public Safety; the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office; the El Paso County Office of the Medical Examiner; the Allen Police Department; and the Dallas Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ian Hanna, Gregory McDonald, and Patricia Acosta for the Western District of Texas’ El Paso Division and Trial Attorneys Kyle Boynton of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section and Michael Warbel of the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Section prosecuted the case.

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