Just weeks before 22 people were fatally gunned down at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, the suspected gunman’s mother called her local police department expressing concern about her son owning an AK-style rifle, her lawyers have said.
Patrick Crusius’ mother told the Allen Police Department that she was worried about the 21-year-old owning the firearm due to his age, maturity and lack of experience with such a weapon, attorneys Chris Ayres and R. Jack Ayres told CNN.
Chris Ayres, in an email to HuffPost on Thursday, confirmed the CNN report but declined to comment further.
When she called the department, Crusius’ mother was transferred to a public safety officer who informed her that based on the description she provided of her son, he was legally allowed to own the weapon. She did not give her or her son’s name, nor was she asked for it, according to CNN’s report.
A spokesperson for the Allen Police Department, which serves a town outside of Dallas, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
In an earlier statement, the police department said it had had no major dealings with Crusius before last Saturday’s shooting. His only previous interactions with police were reports of him briefly being a juvenile runaway in 2014; his status as a passenger in a school bus accident in 2016; and his call to police concerning an alarm at his grandparents’ home that was falsely going off in March.
“There is no record of any person(s) ever contacting the Allen Police Department in reference to this suspect and any activity that he may have been engaged or involved in,” the statement added.
Crusius’ mother, in her call to police, was mainly seeking information rather than expressing concern that her son posed a potential threat to anyone, her attorneys told CNN.
“This was not a volatile, explosive, erratic behaving kid,” Chris Ayres said. “It’s not like alarm bells were going off.”
His family in a statement released Tuesday said Patrick Crusius’ actions were contrary to how he was raised.
“Patrick’s actions were apparently influenced and informed by people we do not
know, and from ideas and beliefs that we do not accept or condone, in any way. He was raised in a family that taught love, kindness, respect, and tolerance – rejecting all forms of racism, prejudice, hatred, and violence,” the statement read. “There will never be a moment for the rest of our lives when we will forget each and every victim of this senseless tragedy.”