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Suspected El Paso shooter stopped at the Walmart because ‘he was hungry,’ police say

Families hug each other near MacArthur School, which was used as a reunification center on August 4, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Lola Gomez / Austin American-Statesman / TNS)

The man accused of killing 22 people at an El Paso Walmart drove straight to the city from the Dallas area and stopped at the store because he was hungry, police said on Monday evening.

Patrick Crusius’ last known address was in Allen — about 30 miles north of Dallas and a 10-hour drive from El Paso. He bought the gun used during Saturday’s attack in the Dallas area legally, police said.

Once he got to El Paso, the 21-year-old gunman apparently got lost in a neighborhood before ending up at the Walmart because “he was hungry,” El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said.

Police believe he went into the store, ate and cased it without his weapon before later going back into the store and opening fire.

Allen couldn’t say if the Walmart was the shooter’s target because it’s “part of the investigation.”

A police source told CNN that Crusius had a “stone-cold” look when he was arrested and despite talking with investigators, has shown no remorse.

Authorities are seeking federal domestic terrorism charges against the shooter, investigating the possibility the shooting was a hate crime, and working to confirm whether a racist, anti-immigrant screed posted online shortly beforehand was written by the man arrested in the attack.

In the manifesto, the author, believed to be Crusius, said the attack was “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

San Antonio lawyer Mark Stevens was appointed to represent Crusius on Monday. Stevens, a criminal defense attorney, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Crusius is being held without bond on a charge of capital murder, according to records. He filed an application for a public defender and said he has no income because he’s been unemployed for five months.

Police on Monday also released the names of the dead, whose ages ranged from 15 to 90. At least 25 people also were wounded in the shooting.

Authorities have said they will seek the death penalty for Crusius.

Law enforcement served three search warrants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including at Crusius’ grandparent’s house in Allen.

Larry and Cynthia Brown said in a statement that their grandson lived with them while attending community college but had moved out six weeks ago “and has spent a few nights here while we were out of town.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


© 2019 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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