The suspect in the mass shooting at a busy Walmart in El Paso was indicted Thursday on a capital murder charge.
Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, was indicted in connection with the Aug. 3 mass shooting that left 22 dead. He is being jailed without bond; El Paso prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Prosecutors said Crusius surrendered to police after the attack saying, "I'm the shooter," and that he was targeting Mexicans.
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Crusius' family released the following statement Thursday after learning of his indictment:
"We, as a family, are aware of the grand jury's indictment today regarding Patrick. The tragedy weighs heavily on our hearts and minds each and every day. It is important to respect the rule of law, including the grand jury's decision and the district attoreny's office. There is a legal path forward that will now allow justice to become clear. It is in that spirit that we intend to honor all involved -- from the victims, to law enforcement, to the courts and citizens tasked with their obligations in the judicial process. We will make no further comments to ensure the integrity of the court process, other than to say we continue to pray for all those touched -- most especially the victims and their families." -- The Crusius and Brown families
In court documents, prosecutors alleged that the gunman is the author of a screed published shortly before the shooting that said it was "in response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas."
The screed cited inspiration of an Australian (awaiting/currently on) trail in New Zealand after the murder of 51 people at two mosques in the town of Christchurch.
Survivors of the El Paso attack have held vigils around the city, including outside of the jail in downtown El Paso where the alleged shooter has been kept isolated from other prisoners, on suicide watch.
The case has fueled anger among gun control and immigration advocates, and caused political blowback.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott acknowledged weeks after the attack that "mistakes were made " when he sent a fundraising mailer encouraging supporters to "take matters into our own hands" and "DEFEND" Texas.
Abbott has pledged to invest in a domestic terrorism taskforce and has suggested he would support and expansion of firearm background checks. He has resisted calls to regulate the sale of military-style rifles like the one authorities say the gunman used in El Paso.