As memorial grows in El Paso, prosecutors declare shooting case of ‘domestic terrorism’

National

EL PASO, TX (KRQE)- Prosecutors are calling Saturday’s mass shooting a case of domestic terrorism and plan to seek the death penalty against 21-year-old Patrick Crusius.

The FBI has launched a civil rights hate crime investigation after police say he left a document denouncing the Hispanic population in Texas. Twenty people were killed and 26 were injured while shopping Saturday morning.

El Paso police say Crusius legally bought the gun and that it was legal in the state of Texas to carry a long gun openly in public. People have been visiting the Walmart where the shooting took place to pay their respects.

The busy shopping area is about five miles from the border. A growing memorial honors the people shot Saturday while grocery and school supply shopping.

“I don’t know what’s more shocking to me, the actual shooting or the motives behind it,” said Gilda Baeza-Ortego. Baeza-Ortego lives in Silver City but grew up in El Paso.

“I almost came here yesterday but I decided to take my parents to breakfast instead,” said Baeza-Ortego. Hispanics say they were in shock that they were allegedly the group of people the shooter was targeting.

“You have Sam’s, Walmart, the mall…You can come here any given day and you’ll see license plates from all over Mexico, they come here to do their shopping,” said Alfredo Ancayan who lives near the location of the shooting.

El Paso police say 1,000 to 3,000 people were inside the store when they were gunned down. The parking lot is still packed with everyone’s cars as the FBI spent Sunday combing through the lot.

KRQE News 13 spoke to a woman who came to see if she could get her car back. State troopers have said it is a problem because people need their passports and haven’t been able to return to Mexico.

The public is also beginning to learn more about some of the victims in the shooting. According to family, one of them includes 25-year-old Jordan Anchondo who was shot while shielding her two-month-old son. She leaves behind three children.

The family also says 60-year-old Arturo Benavides never returned from Walmart after searching for him.

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