Texas Seeks Death for El Paso Shooter, Feds Treating as ‘Domestic Terrorism’

Police brief reporters on El Paso Walmart shooting on Aug 3. (Photo: JOEL ANGEL JUAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: JOEL ANGEL JUAREZ/AFP/Getty Images

El Paso prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against the man who allegedly killed 20 people and wounded 26 others in the mass-casualty shooting on Saturday. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says they will treat the shooting “as domestic terrorism.”

Police have not formally released the name of the alleged killer but many news outlets have released a name of a suspect in the shooting. El Paso County District Clerk court records obtained by Breitbart Texas on Sunday morning indicate that prosecutors filed a capital murder charge.

“We will seek the death penalty,” El Paso County District Attorney Jaime Esparza told reporters in a press conference on Sunday morning. “We will hold him accountable.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas John F. Bash said, “We are treating this as domestic terrorism.” The federal prosecutor said the suspect could also face federal hate crimes and firearms charges. “We will deliver swift justice,” he added.

Breitbart Texas provided live-wire coverage of the events surrounding the active shooter situation in El Paso beginning Saturday morning. The shooter allegedly opened fire on customers at a Walmart filled with back-to-school shoppers. Within a few minutes, the shooter allegedly killed 20 people and sent 26 others to area hospitals — including at least two children. The Cielo Vista shopping area is well known to be a place where Mexican nationals also shop after legally crossing the border from Mexico. At least three of the dead were Mexican nationals, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a Twitter video.

Governor Abbott promised the people of El Paso, We are going to aggressively prosecute it both as capital murder but also as a hate crime, which is exactly what it appears to be.” The governor said the thoughts, actions, and crimes allegedly committed by the shooter “are not who and what Texas is and we will not tolerate it.”

Authorities say they arrested the alleged shooter a short distance away from the Walmart and placed him into custody without incident. El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said that none of his officers responded to the active-shooter incident within six minutes and did not fire any rounds in response to the shooting. He referenced a manifesto allegedly written by the accused shooter, calling it a “potential nexus to a hate crime.”

On Sunday morning, Chief Allen told reporters that investigators were “reasonably confident” the accused shooter is the author of the manifesto, NBC News reported.

Of the 26 people wounded in the attack, at least 18 were reported to be in critical condition Saturday evening. At least three of the patients at Del Sol Hospital were reported to be suffering “life-threatening” wounds, hospital officials reported.

Breitbart Texas reached out to the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas for additional information about the charges. An immediate response was not available.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She is a trial lawyer who previously served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Shadwick can be reached at Lana@LanaShadwick.com.

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