On 3 August 2019 in El Paso, Texas, tragedy struck when 21-year-old Patrick Crusius opened fire inside a Walmart near Cielo Vista Mall and killed 20 innocent lives while leaving 26 more seriously wounded. But who exactly is Patrick Crusius, and why did he commit such an atrocious act?
What Happened on That Fateful Day at Walmart?
El Paso’s Walmart, typically bustling with shoppers, became the scene of a horrific tragedy. As per eyewitness accounts and reports, Crusius entered the store and began firing indiscriminately. The weapon of choice for this massacre was an AK47, which the local police later recovered upon his arrest on that very day. The aftermath saw many injured victims rushed to Del Sol Medical Center and the University of El Paso Medical Center, with 13 being admitted.
What is Known About Crusius’s Early Life and Family?
Born in 1998 in Allen, Texas, Patrick Crusius was raised by his White Caucasian parents along with three siblings in Plano City. Of his siblings, one is an elder brother, and another is a twin sister. The shooter’s educational journey began at Beverly Primary School, Plano, where he and his school friend, Daniel Heo, engaged in sports. Crusius later attended Liberty High School and eventually graduated from Plano Senior High School. He pursued further studies at Collin College in McKinney, Texas.
How Did People Perceive Crusius?
Leigh Ann Locascio, a former neighbor, described Crusius as a loner. In her interactions with the media, she recalled him as a solitary figure, even during school bus rides. Such was his nature that he never formed a friendship with Leigh Ann’s son, Tony Locascio, despite being in the same school.
Another schoolmate, Jacob Wilson, remembers Crusius as an intelligent student, particularly in English class. However, Crusius’s temper, irritability, and peculiar behavior often isolated him from his peers.
What Are Some Lesser-Known Facts About the Shooter?
Apart from the memories of those who knew him, a few details about Crusius’s life give insight into his mindset:
– Crusius owned a pet snake and seemed to enjoy spending time with animals.
Following the shooting, his Twitter account featured posts supporting President Donald Trump’s initiatives such as building the border wall. At one time he worked at a firm in Texas with an estimated net worth between $50,000-60,000 by 2019.- Eventually he found work with another firm with an estimated annual gross salary between $60,000.- Crusius’s LinkedIn profile from 2015 revealed his aspirations. He wrote about not being motivated by money but instead showed interest in software development, even dedicating long hours to honing his skills.
– Disturbingly, Crusius’s manifesto indicated support for the Christchurch mosque shooter, Brenton Tarrant, and displayed a palpable disdain for Muslims, particularly those worshipping at Christchurch in New Zealand.
Why is Understanding Crusius’s Background Important?
While no reason can justify the heinous crime Patrick Crusius committed, understanding his background, mindset, and influences may help in preventing similar future tragedies. Society needs to recognize signs, offer help, and, if necessary, intervene when individuals exhibit warning signs. Only by addressing the root causes and ensuring support can we hope to make such acts of violence a thing of the past.