El Paso shooter faces 90 federal charges

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 7, 2020 - Duration: 01:43s

El Paso shooter faces 90 federal charges

The Texas man accused of killing 22 people in a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart last year has been charged with 90 counts of federal hate crime.

Gloria Tso reports.

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El Paso shooter faces 90 federal charges

The Texas man accused of a mass shooting last year that left 22 people dead was charged with 90 counts of federal hate crime on Thursday (February 7).

Patrick Crusius is accused of firing on shoppers in an El Paso Walmart with an AK-47 in August last year.

The charges against Crusius include 22 counts under the U.S. classification of hate crimes and violence with an added element of bias, resulting in death.

In Texas, Crusius could face the death penalty.

The head of the Justice Departments' Civil Rights Division, Eric Drieband, spoke to reporters on Thursday.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION, ERIC DREIBAND: "Federal hate crime charges affirm to all members to our communities that they are valued, that their protection matters, and that we will protect them and their rights.

People in our nation have the right to go to a store on a Saturday morning without fear that they will be shot and killed because of who they are or where they are from." Crusius confessed while surrendering to police and according to an affidavit told officers he was targeting Mexicans.

Most of those killed were Latinos.

Prosecutors say Crusius posted a manifesto on 8chan, a now-defunct message board often used by extremists.

In it, the accused shooter called his attack, quote, "a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas." Democrats have said Republican President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant language have sparked racist and white nationalist sentiment in the United States.

They also say its created a political climate conducive to hate-based violence.

Trump has dismissed these criticisms as Democrats seeking to benefit politically from a tragedy.

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