Patrick Crusius of Dallas confessed to the Aug. 3 mass shooting and stated that he targeted Mexicans, according to police. The attack killed twenty two people and left some two-dozen with injuries. Two of them remain in the hospital.
In spite of this the first hearing, which lasted only three minutes, had the 21 year old enter a not guilty plea. Crusius walked into the courtroom wearing a dark suit, white shirt and glasses. He was sworn in, waived the reading of his indictment and pleaded not guilty.
A delegation from the Mexican Consulate attended the hearing as eight Mexican citizens were killed in the attack and most of the victims had Hispanic last names. Among the dead was a German citizen who lived in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Local prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.
Federal authorities are weighing capital murder and hate crime charges. The Department of Justice has called the shooting an act of domestic terrorism, an accurate description based on the attributed comments of the shooter. Crusius fled the scene of the shooting in his car but turned himself in less than an hour later, according to police. His arrest warrant says he declared: “I’m the shooter.”
The defense is saying… keep an open mind.
“There are two sides to this story,” said Mark Stevens of San Antonio, lead defense attorney. “… We’ll ask everybody, media and everybody else, to keep an open mind until you hear both sides of the story, what comes out in the courtroom.”
Okay, Mark… I’m certain we can do that. Got any evidence in your pocket that all the victims, or even most, were cartel soldiers? Any evidence that these 22 people were a clear and present danger to Crusius’ life? Evidence that he isn’t a racist lunatic with delusions of grandeur about ‘saving’ a mythical national heritage?
No, they won’t bring any. They don’t. But they must play the game in the best interest of their client to try and keep him from the hangman’s noose. They are going for the death penalty.
People ask the reasons I carry a gun. I carry a gun because there are certain people broken beyond repair and they do not think like you. They don’t think like me. They rationalize in a way we cannot fathom and then they strike out violently, with great cowardice, and attack easy targets. I carry a gun because in the moment someone decides I am a target, I aim to stop them. No one gets to dictate the terms of my life and death to me in a vacuum. I get a say. And it will be a loud statement.