El Paso Sheriff Richard Wiles on Sunday called on lawmakers to stand up against racism and “support keeping guns out of the hands of people who are just waiting for an opportunity to kill others” following the mass shooting there Saturday that left 20 dead and more than two dozen injured.
Authorities are “seriously considering” bringing hate crime charges in the case, and are still investigating to confirm whether a racist, anti-immigrant screed posted online shortly beforehand was written by the man arrested in the attack on the 680,000-resident border city.
Patrick Crusius, 21, has been identified as the shooter. He was charged Sunday with capital murder.
“It's time to rise up and hold our representatives accountable at all levels,” Wiles said in a Facebook post. “I want representatives who will stand up against racism. Who will stand up and support the diversity of our nation and our state. Who will stand up for a strong criminal justice system that holds criminals responsible and keeps violent individuals locked up and off our streets. Who support robust community mental health services. Who support keeping guns out of the hands of people who are just waiting for an opportunity to kill others.”
The document posted online shortly before the shooting includes screeds against immigrants and rants about a “Hispanic invasion.”
“This Anglo man came here to kill Hispanics,” wrote Wiles. “I’m outraged and you should be too. This entire nation should be outraged. In this day and age, with all the serious issues we face, we are still confronted with people who will kill another for the sole reason of the color of their skin.”
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