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El Paso shooter pleads not guilty to capital murder

The district attorney’s office has said it will be seeking the death penalty.

Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

THE GUNMAN BEHIND a shooting in Texas that killed 22 people pleaded not guilty to capital murder during his arraignment yesterday, the prosecutor’s office said.

Patrick Crusius, 21, is accused of carrying out the 3 August mass shooting at a Walmart in the west Texas city of El Paso. He confessed to police upon his arrest and said he was targeting “Mexicans.”

“Crusius pleaded not guilty this afternoon,” the El Paso district attorney’s office said.

District Attorney Jaime Esparza will seek the death penalty.

The hearing in the El Paso County Courthouse was Crusius’s first public appearance since his arrest.

Texas prosecutors charged Crusius with capital murder in August, the day after the attack.

The US attorney for the Western District of Texas, John Bash, then added that the case was being treated as an act of domestic terrorism.

Crusius is believed to have driven nine hours from Allen, his hometown in north Texas, to the majority-Hispanic border city of El Paso.

He can be seen on video from the Walmart security cameras entering the store with an assault rifle.

Prior to carrying out the attack, Crusius published a white supremacist manifesto online which expressed fears of a “Hispanic invasion” of Texas.

Eight of the people killed in the rampage were Mexican nationals, and many of the other victims were Americans of Hispanic origin.

- © AFP 2019.

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