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Weeks Before El Paso Shooting, Suspect's Mom Called Cops

She said she was worried about her son's new rifle
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2019 5:00 AM CDT
Updated Aug 8, 2019 6:24 AM CDT
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A man cries beside a cross at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas.   (AP Photo/John Locher)
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(Newser) – The mother of the man accused of killing 22 people in an El Paso Walmart called police weeks before the mass shooting because she was worried about his new gun, but they told her there wasn't a lot they could do, lawyers for the family say. Attorneys Chris Ayres and R. Jack Ayres tell CNN that the mother of alleged gunman Patrick Crusius told officers in Allen, Texas, that she was concerned that her son was too young, immature, and inexperienced to own an "AK" type weapon. They say the mother, who did not give officers her name or her son's name, was told by a public safety officer that he was legally allowed to own the weapon. Officers did not seek any more details from the mother before the call ended, say the lawyers, who stress that the mother did not believe her son was a threat. "This was not a volatile, explosive, erratic behaving kid," says Chris Ayres. "It's not like alarm bells were going off."

It's not clear whether the rifle Crusius' mother was concerned about was the one used in the mass shooting. The Allen Police Department says it has no record of the call and its only interactions with Crusius were three minor incidents, including one in which he ran away from home and returned 30 minutes later. Crusius has been charged with capital murder in the Saturday mass shooting and is being held without bond. Authorities say he posted a manifesto before the shooting denouncing the "Hispanic invasion of Texas." The family said Tuesday that his actions "were apparently influenced and informed by people we do not know," the Wall Street Journal reports. "He was raised in a family that taught love, kindness, respect, and tolerance—rejecting all forms of racism, prejudice, hatred, and violence," they said in a statement released by attorneys. (A mother and father died shielding their baby in El Paso.)

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