Accused El Paso shooter influenced by "beliefs we do not accept," his parents say
For the first time since Saturday's El Paso shooting that left 22 people dead, the parents of alleged shooter Patrick Crusius are speaking out. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, the family wrote that "Patrick's actions were apparently influenced and informed by people we do not know, and from ideas and beliefs we do not accept or condone."
They continued, "He was raised in a family that taught love, kindness, respect, and tolerance — rejecting all forms of racism, prejudice, hatred, and violence."
The statement comes the same day a Walmart employee coalition has scheduled a nationwide walkout to protest the chain's gun sales. And in El Paso, where emotions are still raw, survivors are returning to the store to retrieve their cars.
Kianna Long couldn't hold back tears as she finally returned to the Walmart on Tuesday. "It was just... the quick bursts... boom, boom, boom..." she said through sobs. "My husband asked me what it was. He was like, 'is that gunshots?' I told him I didn't know, because it sounded like fireworks. And then I turned and I look and I see people running and saying 'he's shooting, he's shooting, he's shooting!'"
In the wake of the attack, authorities are learning more about the alleged shooter's movements after he stormed the Walmart. El Paso police confirmed the suspect was driving a Honda Civic and had gone about a quarter mile from the store. He reportedly stopped, got out of the car with his hands in the air, and surrendered to an officer on a motorcycle.
Now, as El Paso grieves, some of the injured are well enough to share their stories. That includes Octavio Ramiro Lizarde, who had several reconstructive surgeries after he was shot in the foot.
"I just feel grateful I'm alive," he said. "He had the chance to kill me but he didn't."
His nephew, 15-year-old Javier Rodriguez, was the youngest victim of the massacre.
"I did lose my nephew in front of me," Lizarde said. "I won't go into details, but it was a horrible image and I hope nobody ever goes through it."
Lizarde's pain is felt by an entire community this morning. That apparently includes he suspect's parents, who also said in their statement to the Journal that "there will never be a moment for the rest of our lives when we will forget each and every victim of this senseless tragedy."
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