Walmart Shooter Agrees to Pay More Than $5M to Families

Patrick Crusius killed 23 people in Texas attack
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 25, 2023 6:55 PM CDT
Walmart Shooter Agrees to Pay More Than $5M to Families
El Paso Walmart shooting suspect Patrick Crusius pleads not guilty during his arraignment, Oct. 10, 2019, in El Paso, Texas.   (Briana Sanchez/The El Paso Times via AP, Pool, File)

A white Texas gunman who killed 23 people in a racist attack on Hispanic shoppers at a Walmart in 2019 agreed Monday to pay more than $5 million to families of the victims. Patrick Crusius was sentenced to 90 consecutive life sentences in July after pleading guilty to federal hate crime charges following one of the nation's worst mass killings. US District Judge David Guaderrama signed off on the amount that Crusius must pay in restitution, the AP reports: $5,557,005.55.

In January, the Justice Department proposed changes to how it runs federal prisoners' deposit accounts in an effort to make sure victims are paid restitution, including from some high-profile inmates with large balances. The move came as the Justice Department has faced increased scrutiny after revelations that several high-profile inmates had kept large sums of money in their prison accounts but had only made minimal payments to their victims. The El Paso Times points out it's unlikely Crusius, who was appointed publicly funded attorneys for both his federal and state cases, has assets or money approaching the amount owed.

Police say Crusius drove more than 700 miles from his home near Dallas to target Hispanics with an AK-style rifle inside and outside the El Paso store. Moments before the attack began, Crusius posted a racist screed online that warned of a Hispanic "invasion" of Texas. Crusius pleaded guilty in February after federal prosecutors took the death penalty off the table. But Texas prosecutors have said they will try to put Crusius on death row when he stands trial in state court. That trial date has not yet been set.

(More El Paso shooting stories.)

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