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The El Paso Shooting Suspect Is Now on Suicide Watch

The decision was reportedly made by medical staff at the jail, but it’s unclear why.

by Alex Lubben
Aug 20 2019, 3:02pm

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The 21-year-old charged in the Walmart shooting in El Paso, Texas, is on suicide watch in county jail, authorities told the El Paso Times.

The decision was reportedly made by medical staff at the jail, but it’s unclear why. The gunman, who allegedly killed 22 and injured 25 on Aug. 3, reportedly surrendered at the scene and confessed to cops that he specifically targeted Mexicans. He’s being held without bond in a jail cell by himself, separated from other inmates, where he’s been since the day of the shooting.

In the hours before the killing, the gunman allegedly posted a racist screed against immigrants, who he believed were destroying the environment, to online message board 8chan. The language echoed some of President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric.

The people that gunman killed at the Walmart ranged in age from 90 years old to a high school student who was just 15. Witnesses at the scene said that he passed over white and black people, specifically targeting Latinos, according to the El Paso Times.

Days after his arrest, Police Chief Greg Allen said at a press conference that the gunman had been cooperative, but that he hadn’t shown remorse and “basically appeared to be in a state of shock and confusion.” He’d driven 10 hours to get to El Paso, where he got lost and only stopped at the Walmart because he was hungry.

READ: The U.S. doesn't prosecute far-right extremists as terrorists. Here's how it could.

The U.S. Attorney’s office is considering charging the shooter on federal hate crime and domestic terrorism. There’s a high bar for the terror charges, though, and those charges aren’t often brought against white supremacists. The laws governing them were designed post-9/11 to target foreign groups al-Qaeda.

Cover image: Police officers walk behind a Walmart at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. Patrick Crusius, 21, opened fire Saturday at the mall that largely caters to the local Mexican-American community. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Tagged:
jail
gun violence
Mass Shooting
suicide watch
EL paso texas
patrick crusius