The man accused of carrying out the Aug. 3 deadly mass shooting at El Paso’s Cielo Vista Walmart is now on suicide watch at the jail, an El Paso County Sheriff’s official told ABC-7 on Monday.
Patrick Crusius remains segregated and in insolation from the rest of the population at the El Paso County Detention Facility. He was not on suicide watch when jail officials first disclosed on Aug. 7 that he was being held in a single 7-by-11 foot cell because of the “danger” he faced from the general population.
The Sheriff’s Office said medical staff at the facility made the decision to place Crusius on suicide watch, but did not elaborate as to why or provide details of any increased supervision he’s now receiving as a result of that designation.
Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas, is being held without bond on charges of capital murder that could bring the death penalty if convicted.
Suicide risks involving high-profile prisoners has come under national scrutiny over the past week following the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, the multi-millionaire financier being held for trial on a slew of sex trafficking charges.
Epstein’s death at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York has led to fallout after word that he had not been checked by guards for hours before his apparent hanging, despite policies requiring checks every half-hour.
Although sheriff’s officials locally haven’t commented on their suicide watch practices at the El Paso jail, they have previously said the Crusius was being regularly monitored.