Thursday, more family members of the people who were killed or hurt in the 2019 Walmart shooting in El Paso continued to talk about how the killing affected them. Even though they were angry, sad, and traumatized, some of the people who spoke up were able to criticize the shooter for being stupid and extreme.
In August 2019, Patrick Crusius went from Allen, Texas to El Paso with a gun to kill Latinos and stop what he called an online “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
Before Crusius was caught, 23 people were killed and nearly 20 more were hurt in the attack. Since then, he has been in an El Paso jail, and he could get up to 90 life terms in federal prison for gun crimes and hate crimes.
When some of the victims’ families told Crusius how their lives changed the day he gave in to his extremist views and terrorized their families, the courtroom was full of anger, pain, and tears. But some also tried to teach him about Texas history and take pleasure in the fact that he’ll probably spend the rest of his life in jail while they can go on with their lives and remember their loved ones.
The tweet below confirms the news of death of victims in Walmart:
The gunman who killed 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, is expected to face the families of his victims during his sentencing hearing in federal court this week https://t.co/fYX1Zz3tA4
— CNN (@CNN) July 5, 2023
“In your sad, pathetic manifesto, you said you wanted to save Texas,” said Amaris Vega, whose aunt Teresa Sanchez was killed and whose mother and grandma were both seriously hurt. “Wait, what? You didn’t. You failed, we’re still here, and we’re not leaving.”
She also said that he has it coming to him.
“For four years, you have been stuck in a city full of Hispanics,” she told him. “Let that really sink in.”
Margaret Juarez said that Crusius was a weak-minded wimp. Luis Alfredo Juarez, her father, was killed in the shooting, while her mother was shot but lived.
“You think this is your country that needs protecting from Hispanic invasions?” she asked. “There were already American Indians and Mexicans in Texas. Dude, we were already here. When you think you’re protecting your country, keep that in mind.”
She later told Crusius that he would be in the minority among the people he would meet in federal jail.
“You still haven’t seen anything. She said, “Talk about being outnumbered.” “You thought you were protecting your country, but you ended up in a place where everyone was black or brown. “All the best with that!”
She ended her speech by telling the shooter that he would probably never see daylight outside of prison as long as he lived.
“We’re going to go enjoy the sunshine and maybe some good food and margaritas later,” she said.
Francisco Rodriguez stood on the stage while he spoke. On the front of the t-shirt he was wearing was a picture of his 15-year-old son, Javier Amir Rodriguez. The youngest victim was Javier Rodriguez, who wanted to be a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
His father said it was odd, given the gunman’s goals, that his son wanted to become a Border Patrol agent. Rodriguez said he was out of town when the shooting happened and hadn’t seen his son in a month when he heard the terrible news.
“The last time I saw my son living was on July 4, 2019. “The last time I saw his body was on August 6,” he said. “Because of you, my 15-year-old son died.”
Crusius looked away a few times while Rodriguez was talking, which made the sad father stop in the middle of a statement.
“Be brave enough to look at me. “Go ahead and look at my son,” he told them.
Rodriguez felt a medallion on a chain around his neck at the end of his speech. He told the person who shot him that it was his son’s ashes.
“I won’t be able to see my son again for the rest of my life,” he said. “That’s all I’ve got left.”
After hearing the impact comments Thursday afternoon, U.S. District Judge David Guaderrama will decide Crusius’ punishment on Friday. The gunman is also charged with capital murder by the state, and officials have said they will try to get him executed. It’s not clear how long that case will take.
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