Prosecutors won't seek death penalty for alleged El Paso Walmart shooter

Patrick Crusius allegedly killed 23 in 2019.

January 17, 2023, 8:00 PM

The Justice Department said in a brief court filing Tuesday that it will not seek the death penalty in the case against the alleged shooter who killed 19 at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart in 2019.

The Justice Department did not say why it isn't seeking the death penalty.

Patrick Crusius allegedly killed 23 in August 2019 at an El Paso Walmart and is facing state murder charges and federal hate crime charges.

Crusius was indicted by federal prosecutors in 2019 on 90 federal charges, including 22 counts of committing a hate crime resulting in death, 22 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder, 23 counts of a hate crime involving an attempt to kill and 23 counts of use of a firearm during a crime.

He is accused of being the sole gunman to carry out the Aug. 3, 2019, killing rampage that federal authorities investigated as an act of "domestic terrorism," meaning the suspect was allegedly intent on "coercing and intimidating a civilian population," officials said at the time of the announcement.

Crusius allegedly told investigators following his arrest that he set out to kill as many Mexicans as he could after driving from his home in Allen, Texas, about 650 miles east of El Paso, officials said.

The Justice Department has paused carrying out the death penalty during the Biden administration after former Attorney General William Barr resumed carrying out the death penalty at the end of the Trump administration.

A lawyer for Crusius hadn't yet responded to a request for comment.

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