El Paso shooting suspect says AK-style gun came from Romania


In this Aug. 12, 2019 photo, mourners visit the makeshift memorial near the Walmart in El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed in a mass shooting that police are investigating as a terrorist attack targeting Latinos. The flags show the nationalities of those killed in the attack, including a German man who lived in nearby Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. On Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, Walmart said it plans to reopen the El Paso store where 22 people were killed in a mass shooting, but the entire interior of the building will first be rebuilt. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The suspected gunman in the deadly mass shooting in El Paso earlier this month told police that the AK-style rifle used in the attack came from Romania, according to an investigative report.

The Texas Tribune reported Wednesday that Patrick Crusius, 21, told police he ordered the weapon online before picking it up at a gun store near his home in suburban Dallas. The Tribune cited a Texas Department of Public Safety document that also says the suspect told police he purchased thousands of rounds of ammunition from Russia.

El Paso police said shortly after the shooting that killed 22 people that the rifle was purchased legally.

Police have not named the specific model of the rifle used in the attack.

According to a warrant, Crusius told investigators it was an AK-47 assault rifle.

Police have provided specific information on the ammunition, which can be used in an AK-47 assault rifle.

A spokesman for the El Paso police refused to comment Wednesday on the purchase of ammunition and the Department of Public Safety report.

Authorities are investigating the Aug. 3 shooting at a busy Walmart as domestic terrorism. Crusius told police that he targeted Mexicans, according to a warrant.

Investigators believe Crusius published a racist screed online shortly before the attack. Most of those slain had Hispanic surnames, and eight were Mexican citizens.

The suspect is charged with murder and is being held without bond.

Crusius has been separated from other prisoners, according to the El Paso sheriff’s office. He’s been put on suicide watch at least twice since he was arrested.

An El Paso crowd applauded Republican Texas Governor Gregg Abbot when he pledged to add resources to investigations of white nationalist groups following the attack.

Abbot is set to visit El Paso again this week.

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