Patrick Crusius has been identified as the suspect who opened fire in an El Paso shopping plaza, leaving multiple people dead.
Police on Saturday afternoon responded to the shooting at a Walmart shopping plaza near the Cielo Vista Mall. They were able to take the suspect into custody, but by that point multiple people had been shot and many killed.
Law enforcement sources named Patrick Crusius as the suspect in the El Paso shooting, reported Anna Giaritelli of the DC Examiner on Twitter. She shared a picture of the young man in the back of a police cruiser, saying that he was identified as a Dallas man who had just turned 21 this week. Other local reporters confirmed that Crusius was the name identified by law enforcement, though the El Paso police had yet to make an official statement about the suspect’s identity.
The El Paso shooting was chaotic, with initial reports that there may have been multiple shooters. El Paso Police Department’s Sergeant Robert Gomez said in a press conference that they had taken only one suspect into custody. In a live report, CBS 4 in El Paso reported that police sources said the shooting may have ended because the suspect ran out of ammunition. Police also initially said that the shooting may have been “gang-related terrorism,” but Gomez then walked back this report as well, saying that there was no clear motive for the El Paso shooting.
Witnesses said that alleged shooting suspect Patrick Crusius began in the Walmart parking lot, with the shooter moving closer to the building. Video from the shooting circulated on social media, showing multiple victims in the parking lot and just outside the doors of the retail chain. Witnesses said that the shooter attacked vendors who had set up outside the Walmart store, with the shooter repeatedly shooting some of the victims after they had fallen to the ground.
Police released surveillance images of alleged shooter Patrick Crusius entering the Walmart store, holding a long gun and wearing ear protection muffs that are commonly used in target shooting. The images were published by KTSM and shared across social media. The young man in the images wore cargo pants and a black shirt, matching the description of the El Paso shooter that witnesses had shared.
A law enforcement official in El Paso told me the Walmart shooter is in custody. Patrick Crusius of Dallas. Just turned 21 years old this week. pic.twitter.com/CEJh6rYij1— Anna Giaritelli (@Anna_Giaritelli) August 3, 2019
The shooting prompted responses from a number of local and state politicians, and Walmart also released a statement on Twitter offering prayers for the victims.
“We’re in shock over the tragic events at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, where store 2201 & club 6502 are located,” the retailer said. “We’re praying for the victims, the community & our associates, as well as the first responders. We’re working closely with law enforcement & will update as appropriate.”
While many local news outlets have said that Patrick Crusius is the name of the shooting suspect, El Paso police have not yet confirmed the identity of the alleged shooter.