The Latest: El Paso Walmart shooting suspect booked on capital murder charges, victims mourned

Grandparents of shooter release statement
Posted at 8:18 PM, Aug 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-04 23:20:18-04

Police in El Paso, Texas, say all bodies have been removed from a Walmart store and parking lot more than a day after a mass shooting killed 20 people.

El Paso police Sgt. Robert Gomez said Sunday the shooting was confined to the Walmart and its parking lot, and that the attack did not spread to other nearby shopping areas. More than two dozen people were also injured in Saturday’s shooting.

Gomez says the majority of victims were inside the store. Authorities have not yet officially released victims’ names or ages although family members are sharing the stories of their loved ones with the media.

The suspected gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Wood Crusius, has been booked on capital murder charges. A Justice Department official says the federal government is treating the El Paso shooting as a case of domestic terrorism.

Crusius' grandparents say they are “devastated” and are praying for the victims.

KDFW says a family friend read a statement from Larry and Cynthia Brown, grandparents of Patrick Crusius, on Sunday outside the couple’s Allen, Texas, home.

"We are devastated by the events of El Paso, and pray for the victims of this tragedy. Patrick Crusius is our grandson. He lived with us in our house in Allen, Texas, while he attended Collin College. He moved out of our house six weeks ago, and has spent a few nights here while we were out of town. His driver's license and mailing address were at our house in Allen. That connection has made us a focus of media, of course. We are talking only to law enforcement agencies, and will not be making further statements to the media. We request the media to honor our privacy."

The Browns say Crusius lived at their home while he attended Collin College in nearby McKinney. They say that while his driver’s license shows the Allen residence, Crusius moved out of the home six weeks ago.

KDFW also reports officers from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have been at the Browns’ home since the shooting.

Allen is more than 600 miles from where Saturday’s rampage occurred. More than two dozen people were also injured.

The FBI says the gunman didn’t have any contacts in El Paso. They added the is no credible evidence that Crusius was working with a group planning other attacks.

The police chief in El Paso is linking a racist, anti-immigrant screed posted online shortly before a shooting to the suspect in custody.

El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen told reporters Sunday that “we have to attribute that manifesto directly to him.” Prosecutors say they’ll seek the death penalty.

The document posted online expressed concern that an influx of Hispanics into the United States will replace aging white voters, potentially turning Texas blue in elections and swinging the White House to the Democrats.

When asked whether the shooting was a hate crime, Allen said “it’s beginning to look more solidly like that is the case.”

The city of El Paso, Texas, has issued a local disaster declaration following a shooting that left at least 20 dead and more than two dozen injured.

The declaration by Mayor Dee Margo allows for state financial assistance and activates the city’s emergency management plan.

Margo issued the declaration on Sunday, one day after a gunman opened fire at a crowded shopping area.

Margo says the El Paso community is resilient and will not be defined by the rampage.