EL PASO, Texas – A Texas man was sentenced in a federal court in El Paso today to 90 consecutive life sentences in prison for killing 23 people and injuring 22 more in a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart, Aug. 3, 2019.
According to court documents, Patrick Wood Crusius, 24, was convicted on a guilty plea to a 90-count superseding 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. Crusius admitted that his crimes were directed at Hispanics because of their perceived race and national origin and were motivated by his desire to initiate a race war.
Over a period of months, the defendant meticulously planned and carefully prepared to commit his crimes, detailing the plan and its purpose in a manifesto he crafted and posted on the internet moments before initiating the attack on the victims and the El Paso community.
After receiving statements from some of the victims, their family members and loved ones, the court imposed 90 consecutive life sentences. Under federal law, a sentence of life imprisonment is without the possibility of parole and ends only upon the prisoner’s death. Accordingly, this sentence ensures Crusius will spend the rest of his natural life in prison.
Crusius was sentenced to one life sentence for each count in the superseding indictment 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.
Crusius was also sentenced for 22 counts of hate crime acts that caused bodily injury and involved attempts to kill the 22 people injured in the shooting.
In addition to the hate crimes, Crusius was sentenced for 45 firearms violations, 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.
“This defendant drove hundreds of miles from his home in Allen, Texas to El Paso, traveling through the night with an assault rifle and ammunition, to undertake a planned attack against Hispanics in this binational community, contending he was defending his country from the ‘cultural and ethnic replacement’ brought on by what he called the ‘Hispanic invasion of Texas,’” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Leachman for the Western District of Texas. “Once in El Paso, he 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. While this sentence cannot possibly replace the lives lost or undo the harm done to the survivors or 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, with the knowledge that this ensures this defendant will spend the rest of his life in prison. 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.”
“Although today’s federal sentencing cannot bring back the loved ones lost or the innocence shattered on August 3rd, 2019, it is a step closer towards obtaining justice for the victims, survivors, and our El Paso community,” said Special Agent in Charge Jeffery R. Downey of the FBI El Paso Field Office. “Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and our community as El Paso continues to move forward and heal from these horrendous acts that targeted El Paso’s proud multi-cultural community. We stand together in unity with our partners at El Paso Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, and the many other agencies who worked so hard to get closure for the victims. The FBI will continue to seek justice for all those whose civil rights and safety are threatened by hate.”
“Sadly, August 3, 2019, is a date that is etched in the history of El Paso, Texas,” said Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek, II for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Dallas Field Division. “This date and horrendous act will forever be ingrained in the memories of the entire community of El Paso. Today’s sentencing is the reason we at ATF chose to protect and serve the public. The collaboration between local, state, and federal partners was key in our continuing effort to combat violent crime and maintain public safety. Although no sentence will ease the pain of this tremendous loss, this sentencing proves that senseless crimes like this will be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.”
“Today signifies a pivotal moment for those wounded and the families tormented by the August 3rd assailant,” said Interim Chief of Police Peter Pacillas for the El Paso Police Department. “May this sentence offer them a glimmer of solace and commence their journey towards healing. Let the names of those we lost and those forever marked by this tragedy be eternally etched in our community's heart and memory."
The FBI investigated the case, in partnership with the El Paso Police Department; 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. Additionally, the United States Border Patrol, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security provided significant support in responding to this shooting and throughout the investigation and prosecution of this case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is very grateful to these agencies and commends their hard work and tremendous dedication to this matter.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and these law enforcement agencies offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to the victims and all those impacted by these horrific crimes. We are grateful for their assistance in and their patience with these lengthy federal criminal proceedings.
This defendant will now be returned to state custody to face the pending state criminal charges.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ian Hanna, Gregory McDonald and Patricia Acosta for the Western District of Texas El Paso Division prosecuted the case along with trial attorneys Kyle Boynton of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section and Michael Warbel of the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Section.