On August 3, 2019, Patrick Crusius shot shoppers and others, inside and nearby an El Paso, Texas, Walmart, killing 23 people and leaving dozens injured. In February, Crusius pleaded guilty to the 90 federal charges against him, assuring that he will be held responsible for his heinous crimes and the victims’ family members will be spared a trial and years of appeals:
Crusius pleaded guilty 90 federal charges in connection with the Aug. 3, 2019, mass shooting at the Cielo Vista-area Walmart. […]
Crusius, of Allen, Texas, on Aug. 3, 2019, drove from the Dallas suburb to El Paso with a variant of an AK-47 assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, according to the federal indictment.
Once in El Paso, he allegedly uploaded a racist tirade online stating, “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” he wrote. “I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.” […]
Defense attorney Joe Spencer said that his client had wanted to take responsibility for the massacre since Aug. 3, 2019.
Here’s a list of those 90 charges:
The charges include 23 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, 23 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence, 22 counts of hate crimes involving the attempt to kill, and 22 counts of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
On Friday, Crusius received his sentence:
The gunman who killed 23 people in a racist attack on Hispanic shoppers at a Walmart in Texas was sentenced on Friday to 90 consecutive life sentences, but could still face the death penalty. […]
Crusius, who appeared in the courtroom wearing a jumpsuit and shackles only spoke when asked a question by the judge and showed no reaction as the verdict was read.
The judge recommended Crusius serve his sentence at the ADX Florence maximum security prison in Colorado, the most secure in the US prison system.
There, the NY Post writes, he will be housing in solitary confinement, with no mingling with other prisoners, for the rest of his life.
The report continued with the voices of the victims—via their family members. This was their first opportunity to address Crusius in person:
One by one, family members used their first opportunity since the shooting to directly address Crusius, describing how their lives have been upended by grief and pain. However, some still chose to forgive Crusius. One man displayed photographs of his slain father, insisting the gunman look at them. […]
One of the victims, a teenage soccer player who was only identified as G.A., told his attacker: “I still remember everything so clearly, even though I have tried to erase it from my memory.”
Thomas Hoffman, who lost his father Alexander, told Crusius: “You’re an ignorant coward and you deserve to suffer in jail and then burn in hell.”
Alexander was scheduled to fly to Germany, where he was born, the day he was killed, leaving his family in disbelief. Alexander had immigrated to Mexico from Germany in the 1980s and his family remembers him as a “gentle giant with a big heart.”
But as mentioned, he could still face the death penalty in a Texas state trial:
The gunman….faces a possible death penalty in the state case.
In January, El Paso District Attorney Bill Hicks said a trial date will not be set until after sentencing in the federal case, CNN affiliate KFOX reported. The state trial could start in 2024 or 2025, but the schedule will be up to the district court judge, Hicks added.
In a show of grace, according to CNN, a relative of one of Crusius’ victims, Raul Loya, told him before the sentencing, “I hope God one day finds the heart to forgive you for what you’ve done.”