LOGIN

Texas Border City Walmart Attack: White Gunman Faces Sentencing for Killing 23 in Racist Incident

by Gabriel Martinez
5 comments
Walmart Shooter Sentencing

A white gunman in Texas who carried out a racist attack at a Walmart in 2019, resulting in the deaths of 23 people, is set to receive his sentence on Friday. Over the course of several days, relatives of the victims expressed their anger towards him, blaming him for the shooting that specifically targeted Hispanic shoppers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The perpetrator, Patrick Crusius, 24, is expected to be sentenced to multiple life terms in federal prison, as he committed one of the most deadly mass shootings in U.S. history. However, he may also face the death penalty in a separate trial at the state level in Texas, which has yet to begin.

Having pleaded guilty to nearly 50 federal hate crime charges in February, Crusius no longer faces the death penalty at the federal level. It is unlikely that he will make a statement before his formal sentencing by U.S. District Judge David Guaderrama.

In a nearby location close to the El Paso Walmart, where Crusius carried out his attack using an AK-style semiautomatic rifle, the sentencing phase is taking place. Prior to the shooting, Crusius had expressed his views online, warning of a supposed “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

Some of the victims were Mexican citizens, and in addition to the fatalities, more than two dozen people were injured, while numerous others were severely traumatized as they hid or fled from the scene.

Facing Crusius directly for the first time, several relatives of the victims looked him in the eye and mocked his motives, asserting that his racist agenda had failed.

Amaris Vega, whose aunt was killed and whose mother survived with a gunshot wound to the chest, passionately criticized Crusius’ “pathetic, sorry manifesto” that aimed to rid Texas of Hispanics. She declared, “But guess what? You didn’t. You failed. We are still here, and we are not going anywhere. And for four years, you have been stuck in a city full of Hispanics… So let that sink in.”

Margaret Juarez, whose 90-year-old father was killed in the attack while her mother survived with injuries, found it ironic that Crusius would spend his life in prison among inmates from racial and ethnic minorities. Her remarks were met with applause from other relatives and survivors present in the courtroom, as she celebrated their freedom by saying, “Swim in the waters of prison. Now we’re going to enjoy the sunshine… We still have our freedom, in our country.”

Throughout the week, family members shared how their lives had been shattered by grief and pain. Some even found it in their hearts to forgive Crusius. One man exhibited photographs of his deceased father, insisting that the gunman look at them.

Bertha Benavides, whose husband Arturo was among the victims, addressed Crusius directly, accusing him of leaving children without parents and spouses without their loved ones. She told him, “You left spouses without their spouses, and we still need them.”

During the victims’ initial statements, Crusius displayed little emotion, occasionally shifting in his seat or nodding his head. However, on Thursday, his eyes appeared to well up as victims condemned the brutality of the shootings and demanded that he account for his actions. At one point, Crusius consulted with his defense attorney and signaled that he would not provide a response.

This attack was the deadliest among a dozen mass shootings in the United States that have been linked to hate crimes since 2006, according to a database compiled by The Big Big News, USA Today, and Northeastern University.

Prior to the shooting, Crusius was deeply absorbed in the country’s immigration debate, using hashtags like #BuildtheWall and expressing support for then-President Donald Trump’s strict border policies. His online rant before the attack went even further, spreading fears about Hispanics taking control of the government and economy.

In the years following the shooting, some Republicans have referred to migrants crossing the southern U.S. border as an “invasion,” dismissing critics who argue that such rhetoric fuels anti-immigrant sentiments and violence.

As the sentencing phase commenced, advocates for immigrant rights appealed to politicians to soften their immigration rhetoric. Republicans, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott, have been advocating for more aggressive measures to fortify the southern U.S. border.

The victims ranged in age from a 15-year-old high school athlete to elderly grandparents. Among them were immigrants, a retired city bus driver, teachers, tradesmen, including a former iron worker, and several Mexican nationals who regularly crossed the U.S. border for shopping trips.

Two teenage girls, who narrowly escaped Crusius’ rampage, shared their harrowing experience during a fundraiser for their youth soccer team outside the Walmart. Their parents were injured, and their soccer coach, Guillermo Garcia, succumbed to his injuries months later.

Both girls confessed to being haunted by the fear of another shooting whenever they are in public places.

Kathleen Johnson, whose husband David was among the victims, said, “He was shot at close range by a coward, and there was his innocent blood everywhere… I don’t know when I’ll be the same… The pain you have caused is indescribable.”


Reporting by Weber from Austin, Texas.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Walmart attack

What is the background of the Texas Walmart attack?

In 2019, a white gunman carried out a racist attack at a Walmart in Texas, killing 23 people. The shooting targeted Hispanic shoppers on the U.S.-Mexico border.

What is the expected sentence for the white gunman?

The white gunman, Patrick Crusius, is likely to receive multiple life terms in federal prison for committing one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. However, he could still face the death penalty in a separate case at the state level.

Did the victims’ relatives confront the gunman during the sentencing?

Yes, several relatives of the victims confronted the gunman during the sentencing phase. They expressed their anger and resilience, mocking his motives and asserting that his racist pursuits had failed.

What were the motivations behind the attack?

Prior to the shooting, the gunman, Patrick Crusius, expressed his views online, warning of a supposed “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” He was consumed by the nation’s immigration debate and showed support for strict border policies.

How have politicians and rhetoric around immigration been implicated?

The attack highlighted the rhetoric surrounding immigration and the portrayal of migrants as an “invasion.” Some politicians, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott, have pushed for stronger measures to secure the southern U.S. border.

How many mass shootings linked to hate crimes have occurred in the U.S.?

According to a database compiled by The Big Big News, USA Today, and Northeastern University, this attack was the deadliest among a dozen mass shootings in the United States that have been linked to hate crimes since 2006.

What were the demographics of the victims?

The victims ranged in age from a 15-year-old high school athlete to elderly grandparents. They included immigrants, a retired city bus driver, teachers, tradesmen, and several Mexican nationals who regularly crossed the U.S. border for shopping trips.

What impact did the attack have on the survivors and their families?

The attack left survivors and their families traumatized, with lives upended by grief and pain. Some forgave the gunman, while others expressed deep anguish and described the indescribable pain caused by the loss of their loved ones.

What is the significance of the sentencing and its impact?

The sentencing holds the perpetrator accountable for his actions and provides closure for the victims’ families. It also serves as a reminder of the devastating consequences of hate crimes and the importance of addressing issues surrounding racism and gun violence.

More about Walmart attack

You may also like

5 comments

RockNRollFan July 7, 2023 - 8:34 am

this hits close to home. i live near the border, and it’s devastating to see the impact of hate crimes on our community. justice must be served for those innocent lives lost. 🕊️🙌

Reply
SoccerFanatic23 July 7, 2023 - 3:59 pm

those poor girls who narrowly escaped… it breaks my heart to think how this will impact them for the rest of their lives. we need stricter gun control laws NOW. 😡🚫🔫

Reply
JenGardener82 July 7, 2023 - 9:07 pm

it’s infuriating how politicians use hateful rhetoric to fuel these acts of violence. we must address the root causes and work towards unity and understanding. 🌎❤️

Reply
JohnSmith007 July 7, 2023 - 11:20 pm

wow this is so sad! another mass shooting?!! when will this STOP?! my heart goes out to the victims and their families. 🙏😢

Reply
LunaDreamer July 8, 2023 - 5:36 am

omg this is horrific! how could someone be so heartless?! sending love and strength to all the survivors and families affected by this tragedy. 💔😭

Reply

Leave a Comment

logo-site-white

BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News

en_USEnglish