El Paso Walmart gunman who killed 23 gets multiple life sentences
The Texas shooter who killed 23 individuals at a Walmart in 2019 has been sentenced to 90 consecutive life sentences in federal prison.
The 24-year-old had pleaded guilty after federal prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty.
The sentencing follows two days of emotional testimony from witnesses, as the murderer sat face-to-face with survivors and relatives.
It was one of the deadliest mass shootings in US history.
As police accompanied Patrick Crusius out of the court, Dean Reckard, whose mother, Margie Reckard, was killed in the shooting, yelled: “We will be seeing you again, you coward.”
The killer could still face the death penalty on capital murder charges in state court.
Over 50 people sat in the crowded court in El Paso on Friday morning, while more gathered in an overflow area outside to watch the long-awaited sentencing.
Carrying an assault-style rifle, he was targeting mostly Hispanic shoppers when he killed 23 and injured 22 more in the US-Mexico border town of El Paso.
The shooter, who is white, had posted a hate-filled, anti-immigrant screed online minutes before he sprayed shoppers with bullets.
After he claimed to have targeted Hispanics, federal prosecutors sought to investigate the shooting as both domestic terrorism and a hate crime.
In February, he pleaded guilty to 90 charges, including 23 counts for hate crime acts that resulted in death, 22 hate crime acts that caused bodily injury, 23 counts of using a firearm in a federal crime of violence resulting in death, and 22 counts of using a firearm in a federal crime of violence.
Survivors and families of those killed in the mass shooting spoke directly to the gunman for the first time on Wednesday.
The attacker showed little emotion throughout the sentencing hearing, where the loved ones of his victims delivered emotional statements, calling him a “monster”, “killer”, and a “parasite”.
Hands and feet shackled, the gunman nodded “yes” on Thursday when asked by the son of another victim if he was sorry for his actions.
On 3 August 2019, the gunman entered the Walmart parking lot dressed in protective ear muffs and safety glasses, wielding a high-powered assault-style rifle, and opened fire.
He continued to shoot inside the store, injuring and killing victims in the checkout area, between shopping aisles, and at a bank near the entrance.
He was arrested the same day.
He admitted to leaving his home near Dallas – roughly 650 miles away – to go to the border town, which is 80% Hispanic, to target Latinos.
Those who were killed ranged in age from a three-year-old child, whose parents were also killed, to elderly grandparents. Eight of the victims held Mexican citizenship.