EL PASO, Texas — The Texas man who fatally shot 23 people at a Walmart store in El Paso in a targeted attack against people of Mexican descent was sentenced Friday to 90 consecutive life terms.
Patrick Crusius, of Allen, agreed in February to the back-to-back life sentences when he pleaded guilty to 90 federal counts, including 45 hate crime charges.
The judge asked that he be sent to ADX Florence, a maximum facility prison in Fremont County, Colorado, and requested he receive mental health treatment.
The shooter traveled almost 600 miles from North Texas to El Paso before opening fire on shoppers Aug. 3, 2019, with a WASR-10 rifle.
Minutes before the attack, he posted a hate-filled racist screed online in which he referred to an “invasion” of immigrants to the United States, the Justice Department said.
The department has said the man, who admitted to police he was the shooter, is a self-described white nationalist.
Sentencing began Wednesday, and for days relatives of those killed spoke to the gunman about their anger and the damage he did.
“Look at my son,” Francisco Javier Rodriguez, whose 15-year-old son, Javier Amir, was killed, said Thursday as an image of the teenager was on a screen.
Kathleen Johnson told the attacker that he shot her husband, David Johnson, at close range in aisle 3 that day.
“His innocent blood was everywhere. He was our provider, loving father and grandfather,” said Johnson, who said she has night terrors and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I don’t even want to look at you,” she said.
Thomas Hoffman spoke about his father, Alexander Hoffman, and shared a photo of his parents who had been married 40 years and of a ticket for a flight his father was supposed to take that day.
“You shot my dad in the back,” he said Wednesday. "You are a coward."
The shooter bought the WASR-10, which is a Romanian-made semi-automatic variant of the AK-47 assault rifle, as well as 1,000 rounds of 7.62 mm hollow-point ammunition, almost two months before the attack, according to the indictment.
He drove overnight from Allen, which is north of Dallas, to El Paso before opening fire on people who were shopping at the Walmart on a Saturday morning.
In addition to the 23 people who were killed, 22 others were injured. The 23rd victim, Guillermo "Memo" Garcia, was injured and died in a hospital in April 2020, almost nine months after the shooting.
When the attacker was indicted on federal hate crime charges, the then-assistant U.S. attorney general for civil rights, Eric Dreiband, called the mass shooting, and other acts of hate like it, heinous crimes intended to terrorize and intimidate.
“This kind of terror will not stand,” Dreiband said following the Feb. 6, 2020, indictment.
The shooter pleaded guilty Feb. 8 to 45 counts of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and 45 firearms counts, the Justice Department said at the time.
Kayla McCormick reported from El Paso, Phil Helsel reported from Los Angeles.