EL PASO, Texas (TCD) — A federal judge sentenced a 24-year-old man to 90 life sentences in prison for killing 23 people and injuring 22 others in a mass shooting at a Walmart in August 2019.
According to a statement from the Justice Department, Patrick Wood Crusius pleaded guilty in February to 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, and he received one life sentence for each count. He was handed the sentence Friday, July 7.
In addition to the above charges, he was also sentenced relating to 22 counts of hate crime acts causing bodily injury and 45 other firearm violations.
The Justice Department identified the 23 deceased victims as 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.
On Aug. 3, 2019, Crusius drove overnight from his home in Allen, Texas, to the Cielo Vista Walmart in El Paso and opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, targeting mainly Hispanic victims. According to his charging documents, Crusius wrote a manifesto called “The Inconvenient Truth” and said, “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.”
The Justice Department said Crusius “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.”
In his manifesto, Crusius labeled himself as a white nationalist and targeted El Paso specifically because he wanted to “dissuade Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants from coming to the United States.”
Following the sentencing, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said the shooting “stands as one of the most horrific acts of white nationalist-driven violence in modern times.”