Hate crime charges filed in El Paso Walmart shooting
Juhele / Pixabay
Hate crime charges filed in El Paso Walmart shooting

Prosecutors filed federal hate crime charges Thursday against Patrick Crusius, 21, for opening fire and killing 22 people at an El Paso Walmart last summer.

On August 3, Crusius walked into the Texas retailer with an AK-47 assault and began shooting. A few days before the shooting Crusius drafted a document entitled “The Inconvenient Truth.” The document opens by stating, “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me.”

The Department of Justice issued a statement clarifying the current stage of the Crusius case’s litigation: “It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband applauded the indictment of Crusius in a public remark, comparing last summer’s incident to similar attacks, such as Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life shooting: “The Department of Justice has brought hate crimes charges in other communities that, like El Paso, tragically suffered hate-motivated violence. We brought hate crimes charges in Pittsburgh for the killings at the Tree of Life Synagogue. We convicted and obtained the ultimate penalty against the man who senselessly murdered African-American worshipers at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina.”