EL PASO, TX
At least 20 people were killed and at least 26 more people were injured when a man walked into a local Wal Mart store inside of the Cielo Vista Mall and opened fire with an assault rifle on Saturday morning.
21-year old Patrick Cruisus
According to USA Today (@USAToday), the shooter has been identified as 21-year old Patrick Cruisus. Police reported finding a “manifesto” belonging to the suspect. The manifesto was allegedly written hours, or even minutes before the shooting. The manifesto was posted online to 8chan, an online message board frequented by racist, extremist, and conspiracy theorists. In the manifesto, Cruisus allegedly wrote about his act of domestic terrorism being “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Cruisus lives in a Dallas suburb more than 650 miles away from El Paso where he committed the act of domestic terrorism. It’s likely that he traveled more than 650 miles with one purpose in mind. After killing 20 people or more, Cruisus was taken into police custody alive and unharmed.
El Paso sits along the border with neighboring Juarez Mexico just on the other side. The nearby city of Las Cruces, New Mexico, form an area of the largest bilingual, bi-national population in North America. Mexico’s President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said three Mexican nationals were among the 20 people killed in the act of domestic terrorism. And at least six others were among the 26 reported injured in the massacre. Reports have surfaced that many of the injured refused treatment out of fear of being met by I.C.E as they arrived at the hospital.
Larry Mitchell Hopkins was arrested last week and charged with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. 69-year old Hopkins is the leader of a militia group operating in New Mexico. Hopkins’ group, The United Constitutional Patriots operate out of Sunland Park, New Mexico, bordering El Paso, Texas, and Chihuahua State, Mexico.
NBC 2 WGRZ (WGRZ) out of Buffalo NY, reported, Mitchell’s group claims to have set up shop along the border fence about two months ago to report illegal crossings of migrants and possible smugglers to the U.S. Border Patrol. The American Civil Liberties Union urged the Governor of New Mexico to open an investigation into the group after watching The United Constitutional Patriots Facebook stream. The stream showed the group, armed with guns, detaining migrants and ordering them to sit on the ground at gunpoint. The American Civil Liberties Union found the group’s activities to be dangerous. New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas agreed.
“The rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.” Balderas said.
A closer look into the leader’s background revealed that Hopkins was a convicted felon prohibited from carrying a firearm. A visit to his home in 2017 uncovered 9 firearms and ammunition. Hopkins had three prior convictions dating back to 1996. One for impersonating a police officer in Oregon. The F.B.I began investigating Hopkins himself, after getting reports that Hopkins was at the head of a group that were training to assassinate Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, and George Soros. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Hopkins is a well known right-wing figure. Using his pseudonym, Johnny Horton Jr., Hopkins appeared in videos claiming to have advised President Trump on border security. Hopkins faces a maximum 10-years in prison if convicted on the charges.