The mother of the El Paso shooting suspect says she contacted police weeks before her son allegedly carried out an act of terror at a Walmart Saturday that left 22 people dead and over two-dozen injured.
As more information has come out about both the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings, reports of potential “red flags” have emerged. The self-described “leftist” Dayton shooter posted “pro-Antifa, anti-police” messages on social media, kept a “hit list” and “rape list” that he once showed to classmates, and had a glaring obsession with death and violence, as evidenced in his participation in a “pornogrind” band that sang about raping and killing women.
Any potential warning signs involving the suspect in the El Paso shooting — who authorities believe posted a manifesto on 8chan espousing racist and anti-immigrant views before opening fire on mostly Hispanic victims — were not so obvious, as he appeared to keep a rather low-profile and kept out of trouble with the law.
However, as reported by CNN, his mother did reach out to law enforcement weeks ahead of the mass shooting concerned about his possession of an “AK-type” weapon, though family lawyers said she did so solely on an “informational” basis.
“The El Paso shooting suspect’s mother called the Allen, Texas, Police Department weeks before the shooting because she was concerned about her son owning an ‘AK’ type firearm, lawyers for the family confirmed to CNN,” the network reported. “The mother contacted police because she was worried about her son owning the weapon given his age, maturity level and lack of experience handling such a firearm, attorneys Chris Ayres and R. Jack Ayres said.”
The attorneys told CNN that the suspect’s mother was transferred to a public safety officer who said that, according to her description of the situation and his age, 21, her son was legally allowed to possess the weapon. The lawyers said she did not give authorities her son’s name, and police did not seek additional information from her on the call.
Whether the rifle that she was referencing was the one her son allegedly used in the shooting is not known, CNN notes. The Allen Police Department has no documentation of the call.
As for the suspect’s record, police told CNN that only three minor incidents were connected to him: “one, a false burglar alarm at the family home, another when [he] was a passenger in a bus involved in a minor traffic accident and a third when he ran away from home but returned 30 minutes later.” Police said they had no other documented contact with the shooter.
The attorneys told CNN that the mother’s call was “informational” rather than prompted by concerns about any threat her son might pose, Ayes describing the suspect as “not a volatile, explosive, erratic behaving kid.”
The suspect has been charged with capital murder and federal authorities are considering charging him with hate crime and firearm charges.