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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 9, 2020

Federal Grand Jury in El Paso Returns Superseding Indictment against Patrick Crusius

Superseding Indictment Contains New Charges Related to the Death of a Hospitalized Shooting Victim

In El Paso today, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment against Patrick Wood Crusius, 21, with new hate crime and firearm charges stemming from the death of a hospitalized shooting victim, announced Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Eric D. Dreiband and U.S. Attorney John F. Bash.   

On August 3, 2019, Crusius allegedly opened fire with an assault rifle and shot multiple individuals in and around the Walmart Supercenter in El Paso, leading to the death of 23 individuals and injuring many more.  On   February 6, 2020, the federal grand jury returned an indictment against Crusius.  On April 25, 2020, a victim who had been shot during the incident died as a result of the injuries he sustained.

Today’s federal grand jury superseding indictment includes 23 counts of hate crimes resulting in death (counts 1-23), 23 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence (counts 24-46), 22 counts of hate crimes involving an attempt to kill (counts 47-68), and 22 counts of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence (counts 69-90). 

The superseding indictment alleges that in June 2019, Crusius used the internet to purchase a GP WASR-10 semi-automatic rifle and 1,000 rounds of hollow point ammunition.  On August 3, 2019, after substantial planning and premeditation, Crusius took the assault rifle and ammunition and drove from his residence in Allen, TX, to the Walmart Supercenter store located on Gateway West Blvd. where he conducted his attack.  The superseding indictment further alleges that just prior to the mass shooting, Crusius uploaded to the internet a document he had drafted entitled “The Inconvenient Truth.”  The document opened by stating, “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me.  I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by the invasion.”  Among other things, the superseding indictment charges Crusius with willfully causing bodily injury to the victims because of the actual and perceived national origin of any person.

The charges in the superseding indictment carry a maximum penalty of death or life imprisonment.    The Attorney General will decide whether to seek the death penalty at a later time. 

The case (WTDX case # EP20cr389) has been assigned to U.S. District Judge David C. Guaderrama.  There is no trial date at this time.  This case is scheduled for a docket call at 2:00pm on October 7, 2020. 

The FBI, with the support of the El Paso Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, El Paso County Office of the Medical Examiner, Allen Police Department and Dallas Police Department, conducted this investigation. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ian Hanna and Greg McDonald of the Western District of Texas, and U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorneys Tim Visser and Michael Warbel. 

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. 

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Public Affairs Officer Daryl Fields (210) 260-2650
Updated July 9, 2020