The mother of the El Paso shooting suspect reportedly called the police weeks before the mass murder to relay concerns regarding her son's acquisition of a semi-automatic rifle, CNN reports. According to attorneys Chris Ayres and R. Jack Ayres, Patrick Crusius' mother worried her 21-year-old son lacked the maturity and experience needed to properly handle the AK-type firearm, which prompted her to contact authorities.
During her call to the Allen, Texas, police department, Crusius' mother was transferred to a public safety official who informed her that given her son's age, he was legally allowed to be in possession of the weapon. While speaking to authorities, she did not disclose her son's name, nor her own, and the police did not attempt to obtain any additional information after the call concluded, the attorneys told CNN. It remains unclear whether the firearm the mother inquired about was the gun used in the El Paso shooting.
Patrick Crusius is accused of killing 22 people and injuring more than two dozen others at a Walmart in El Paso last Saturday. Prior to the mass shooting, Crusius allegedly posted a hate-filled manifesto titled "The Inconvenient Truth." The racist diatribe detailed his intentions to unleash violence on Hispanic communities, and warned of the "Hispanic invasion of Texas."
Ayres said the suspect's mother contacted authorities to obtain more information and wasn't motivated by a fear that her son posed a threat to anyone else. "This was not a volatile, explosive, erratic behaving kid," said Chris Ayres. "It's not like alarm bells were going off."
In a statement to Time, a spokesperson for the Allen Police Department said they had no record of the call taking place, and couldn't confirm whether it happened. “We have no record of it at this point. Oftentimes people call and have questions," the spokesperson noted. "We don’t keep records of all those calls because they are so numerous. In this case there was nobody mentioned as a suspect or witness or anything else, so there would not be a record.”
Crusius has been charged with capital murder and is being held without bond at the El Paso County Detention Facility. District Attorney Jaime Esparza said the DA's office will seek the death penalty. In addition to the state charges, Justice Department officials are "seriously considering" bringing federal hate crime and domestic terrorism charges against the suspect.