Officials have now released the grand jury indictment recently filed against a man accused of killing 22 people at an El Paso Walmart, but the document offered few new details into the prosecution of Patrick Crusius.
The one-page indictment against Crusius lists the names of the 22 victims who were killed in the Aug. 3 mass shooting and it suggests that victim Maria Legaretta Rothe was the first person to be shot in the attack.
A court database shows the indictment has been referred to Judge Angie Juarez Barrill, who has just been assigned to handle the case.
The 21-year-old Crusius, 21, from the Dallas suburb of Allen, was indicted last week on one count of capital murder of multiple persons. El Paso’s district attorney is seeking the death penalty. Crusius remains jailed without bond, being held in isolation on a suicide watch.
A previously released arrest warrant prepared by police said Crusius told officers, “I’m the shooter,” and that he was targeting Mexicans. In court documents, prosecutors allege that Crusius published a screed shortly before the shooting that said it was “in response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
It cited another mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, that killed scores of Muslims as inspiration for the attack.
The document allegedly published by Crusius mirrored some of President Donald Trump’s immigration policy rhetoric. Some El Paso residents, including former congressman and current Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke, blame Trump for promoting harmful stereotypes and fueling the idea that the uptick in migrant crossings is a semi-coordinated “invasion” by Latinos.
Crusius drove more than 10 hours from his grandparents’ house to carry out the attack, according to police.
Most of the dead had Hispanic last names, and eight were Mexican nationals. Federal prosecutors have said they’re weighing hate-crime charges against Crusius that could also carry the death penalty.