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Accused El Paso gunman's grandparents "devastated" after mass shooting

El Paso shooting investigated as hate crime
El Paso shooting being investigated as hate crime and domestic terrorism 02:48

The grandparents of Patrick Crusius, the man accused of killing 20 people in El Paso over the weekend, have issued a statement. A family friend read the statement from Larry and Cynthia Brown outside the couple's home in Allen, CBS Dallas/Fort Worth reports.

The Browns said they were "devastated" by the shooting and were praying for the victims. The couple added that while Crusius' driver's license shows their Allen residence, the 21-year-old had moved out of the home six weeks ago. Crusius was living with his grandparents while he attended nearby Collin College.

Crusius was arrested without police firing any shots and was jailed without bond, authorities said. There was no immediate indication that he had an attorney.

In a racist manifesto Crusius allegedly wrote, he expressed support for the Christchurch, New Zealand shooter, and denounced the increasing Hispanic population in Texas. Prosecutors are still deciding whether they want to pursue federal hate crime charges against the suspect.

CBS DFW reports the family friend — who does not want his identity released — said he knows Crusius' grandparents from church and that they asked him to read their statement.

The statement read:

We are devastated by the events of El Paso and pray for the victims of this tragedy. Patrick Crusius is our grandson. He lived with us in our house in Allen, Texas while he attended junior college at Collin County College. He moved out six weeks ago and spent a few nights here while we were out of town. His drivers license and mailing address were at our house in Allen — that connection has made us the focus of media. We are talking only to law enforcement agencies and will not be making further statements to the media. We request the media to honor our privacy.

He said Crusius' grandparents are very distraught by the shooting, but have family visiting at this time. Allen is more than 600 miles from where Saturday's shooting occurred.

In addition to the 20 victims who were killed, at least 22 people were hospitalized in the fatal shooting, including one who died; nine people were in critical condition and one patient was four months old. Prosecutors are pursuing a civil rights hate crime investigation and domestic terrorism charges against Crusius. El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said Crusius purchased his weapon legally.

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