Patrick Crusius has been identified as the suspect who opened fire outside an El Paso Walmart in an attack that left several dead, and now many are poring over the young man’s social media presence for some kind of clues about the motivation for the attack.
After the shooting, D.C. Examiner reporter Anna Giaritelli wrote on Twitter that police named Crusius, a 21-year-old from Dallas, as the suspect. Reports from the chaotic scene of the shooting had initially claimed that there may have been multiple shooting suspects or that it was an act of “gang-related terrorism,” but El Paso police, in an afternoon press conference, said these details were not confirmed and that there was no clue as to the motive of the attack.
With questions surrounding why someone would carry out such a violent act, many have tried to pry into the social media presence of Patrick Crusius. There have not been any social media confirmed to belong to the suspect, though there is a Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn page in the name and location of the suspect. None appear to offer any solid clues about the motive for the attack, however.
A Twitter page identified as belonging to Crusius showed only a handful of posts since the account was started in 2016, including one that offered support for Donald Trump and included the hashtag #BuildTheWall. The account also liked several posts from Donald Trump and from others praising the president.
Another LinkedIn page in the name of the suspect said that the person was “not really motivated to do anything more than what’s necessary to get by.”
There were other unconfirmed posts from Patrick Crusius, including a manifesto allegedly posted to the image-sharing site 8chan that claimed the shooting was an attack on “Hispanic invaders.” There were some initial claims that the manifesto was a hoax, but its veracity appeared to be confirmed by several people, including JJ MacNab, Fellow, George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, who wrote on Twitter that she had seen the manifesto.
The social media accounts under the name of Patrick Crusius had all been taken down within hours of the shooting, Heavy reported.
Before Patrick Crusius had been identified as the El Paso shooting suspect, there were many unconfirmed reports of others identified as the shooter, including what appeared to be some who were purposely spreading false information claiming political motives for the attack. Police in El Paso emphasized that there was no known motive for the shooting.
As of press time on Saturday, El Paso police had also yet to confirm reports that Patrick Crusius was the suspect.