El Paso police say the hate-filled manifesto allegedly posted online by mass shooting suspect Patrick Crusius shows a “nexus to a potential hate crime” in the shooting that claimed at least 20 lives.
The 21-year-old Crusius from Dallas has been identified as the suspect who the police say opened fire outside of a Walmart shopping center on Saturday afternoon. As CNN reported, police are investigating an alleged manifesto that was posted to the image-sharing site 8chan just before the attack, one that shows white supremacist beliefs and said that the attack was a response to what the writer called a “Hispanic invasion.”
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said in the wake of the deadly shooting that the manifesto could reveal the motive for the attack, which he said is being investigated as a hate crime.
“Right now, we have a manifesto from this individual that indicates to some degree a nexus to a potential hate crime,” Allen said.
As CNN reported, a source familiar with the investigation said that the FBI has opened a domestic terrorism investigation. It was not clear if any group was specifically targeted in the El Paso shooting, but the report noted that the victims included several Mexican nationals.
As The Daily Beast noted, alleged El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius seemed to follow a trend among white supremacist shooters to post manifestos or links to other white supremacist literature before carrying out mass shootings. It noted that Crusius appeared to be particularly influenced by the manifesto written by the white supremacist who allegedly carried out a shooting at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in an attack that left 51 people dead. As the report added, the alleged shooter of a synagogue in Poway, California, also made reference to the alleged New Zealand shooter’s manifesto.
Many have called on Donald Trump to explicitly identify white supremacist terrorism as a problem, a step that some other Republicans have already taken. George P. Bush, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the General Land Office Commissioner in Texas, said in a statement on Saturday evening that Americans need to take a stand against “white terrorism.”
The rhetoric used in suspect Patrick Crusius’s alleged manifesto is common among white supremacists, who refer to immigrants of color as “invaders” who are putting whites at risk. Many speak out against race mixing, sometimes even referring to it as “genocide” of the white race.