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USA. Shooting in Texas. Patric Crusius, perpetrator of El Paso massacre, sentenced to 90 life sentences

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Patrick Crusius, 24, the perpetrator of a four-year-old mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, was sentenced to 90 life sentences on Friday. 23 people were killed and 22 injured in the massacre. As CNN points out, it was one of the deadliest attacks against Hispanics in modern US history.

Prosecutors sought a life sentence for Crusius on each of the 90 federal charges against him, including hate crimes and gun crimes to which he pleaded guilty. The hearing lasted approximately 40 minutes.

In his closing speech, defense attorney Joe Spencer told the court that his client had taken responsibility for the crime, which he argued was caused by severe mental illness. – Patrick will come out of prison in a coffin. The only question is whether God or man will decide when that happens,” Spencer said. For Crusius, Friday’s sentence is just the beginning. The 24-year-old faces the death penalty in a separate state homicide case in which he pleaded not guilty.

During Spencer’s speech, some of the victims’ relatives present in the room were wiping away tears, CNN reported. As reported by the station, when the judge pronounced the verdict, the killer did not show any emotions.

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“Nobody in this country should live in fear of hate-motivated violence being targeted because of what they look like or where they come from,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The 90 life sentences announced today ensure that Patrick Crusius will spend the rest of his life in prison for his brutal racist crime,” he said.

FBI Director Christopher Wray hoped the verdict would bring a sense of justice to the survivors and families of the victims.

Patrick Crusius in court Reuters

“You deserve to burn in hell”

Witnesses to the massacre and relatives of the victims testified in court on Wednesday and Thursday. Among the 36 people who came face to face with the killer was a girl who escaped the shooting with her life. She was wearing a T-shirt that said “El Paso Strong.” She spoke with difficulty, unable to stop crying.

“I was a happy, normal teenager until this coward decided to use violence against the innocent,” she said. “I’m not as happy as I used to be,” she added.

The horror that happened four years ago in El Paso was also told by a teenage football player. “I still remember everything so clearly, even though I tried to erase it from my memory,” said the boy who survived the shooting.

For most of the proceedings, Crusius sat in the courtroom with his hands and feet bound, in silence, as survivors and victims’ families recounted their tragic experiences and pain, CNN reports.

Dean Reckard, who lost his mother Margie in the shooting, asked the perpetrator if he “slept well at night”. Crusius shook his head. When asked if he regrets what he did, he nodded in the affirmative.

“You are an ignorant coward and you deserve to suffer in prison and then burn in hell,” said Thomas Hoffman, the son of one of the victims.

“I hope that one day God will show you a heart and forgive you for what you have done,” said Raul Loya, a relative of one of the victims, through tears.

Crusius initially pleaded not guilty but reversed his confession in February after prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty. A federal sentence, however, may not be enough justice for some families, said Paweł Jamrowski, the father of Jordan Anchondo, who died with her husband while protecting their child in a shooting. These lives will never be restored, so what justice is that? – He was asking.

The shooting happened at a Walmart store in El Paso on August 3, 2019Reuters

The El Paso Massacre

On the evening of August 3, 2019, Patrick Crusius, then 21, opened fire at the Walmart shopping center in El Paso, killing 23 people and wounding 22. Among the victims were at least eight Mexicans. According to the authorities, the crime was motivated by racial hatred. A few minutes before the massacre, Crusius posted on the Internet a manifesto filled with hateful and xenophobic content, in which he emphasized the superiority of the white race.

The place of the massacre was not accidental. El Paso is located in the west of Texas, on the border with Mexico. The supermarket where the shots were fired is located on the interstate in the eastern part of the city. Immigrants often shop there. According to the latest census, 80 percent of El Paso’s residents are Hispanic. In addition, tens of thousands of Mexicans legally enter the city every day to work and shop in the city.

Main photo source: Reuters

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