Before the El Paso mass shooting attack even began on Saturday morning, police were already aware of and “analyzing” the racist, anti-Hispanic, white supremacist manifesto they believe was posted online by suspected shooter Patrick Crusius, according to a report by NBC News.
But NBC News reported that investigators were “unable to verify the author’s identity” in advance — even though Crusius included his own name on the original 8Chan forum post that contained the so-called “manifesto,” independent researcher Aric Toler, of the investigative group Bellingcat, revealed via Twitter.
The original post from the 8Chan message board, an online forum for extremist views where mass shooters have been active before, was deleted from the forum, but was preserved by the Internet Archive. The post, titled “It’s Time,” clearly displays the filenames of two PDF files uploaded by the 8Chan user. The title of one of the two files is “P. Crusius – Notification.”
That file is a PDF of a letter sent to Crusius by the associate dean of students at Collin College, a two-year college where the 21-year-old alleged shooter was a student, according to a report by Dallas TV station KTVT.
In the letter, which has been preserved and posted online by Bellingcat, the associate dean informs Crusius that he may be subject to discipline by showing up for class under the influence of alcohol.
BREAKING: El Paso Walmart gunman reportedly identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius pic.twitter.com/bdzwAATthw
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 3, 2019
The letter itself also contains the name Crusius. Toler explained on his Twitter account that the online evidence almost certainly confirms that the manifesto is authentic. For the document to be an elaborate hoax, the purported hoaxer would need to “know that a guy named P. Crusius from Dallas was about to go onto a shooting rampage, and post a document and manifesto right before he started on 8chan,” Toler wrote.
Other social media postings believed to have been made by Crusius appear to show his support for Donald Trump, including posting to his Twitter account using the hashtag #BuildTheWall, according to a Slate.com report.
Another now-deleted social media post believed to have been made by Crusius shows the name “Trump” spelled out by an arrangement of firearms, according to the Slate.com report.
— Sean Kent (@seankent) August 3, 2019
According to a Bellingcat report, the use of 8Chan by a mass shooter to post a racist “manifesto” is not new.
The Christchurch, New Zealand, mass killer Brendan Tarrant in March, as The Inquisitr reported, posted his own hate-filled “manifesto” on the forum.
The Bellingcat report said that the El Paso and Christchurch mass shootings, and their promotion through 8Chan, represent the “gamification” of white supremacist terrorism, with 8Chan users encouraging others to beat the “high score” — that is, the fatality total — of the Christchurch shooter.