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The Mother Of The El Paso Shooting Suspect Called Police Worried About His Gun Before The Attack

She was alarmed by his purchase of an AK-47–style rifle, the family's attorneys said.

Posted on August 7, 2019, at 11:11 p.m. ET

Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images

People pray at the makeshift memorial for victims of the shooting in El Paso.

The alarmed mother of the El Paso, Texas, mass shooting suspect called police about her son just weeks before dozens of people were killed inside a Walmart, an attorney for the family confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

Worried about her son owning an AK-47–style rifle, Patrick Crusius's mother phoned the Allen Police Department, attorneys Chris and R. Jack Ayres, who are currently representing the Crusius family, told CNN.

The 21-year-old suspect's mother, attorneys said, was concerned about his lack of experience and maturity in owning the weapon.

Chris Ayres confirmed the call to BuzzFeed News but declined to provide additional details. Attorneys told the network the suspect's mother spoke with a public safety officer about her concern but was told that the gun was legally purchased and her son was allowed to own the rifle.

It's unclear if the weapon she called police about is the same one allegedly used in Saturday's attack.

Authorities say that Crusius, a resident of Allen, drove more than 600 miles across Texas to El Paso to launch his deadly attack Saturday. Allen police officials did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ requests for comment.

John Locher / AP

El Paso police said the AK-47–style rifle had been legally purchased by the suspect. Under Texas law, a gun owner needs to be 18 years old to buy a rifle and 21 years old to buy a handgun.

Attorneys for the Crusius family told CNN the mother's call was "informational" only, and the suspect had not shown any "volatile, explosive, erratic" behavior.

Twenty-two people were killed in the Saturday-afternoon massacre, in a shooting that is being investigated as a hate crime and an act of domestic terrorism.

In a four-page manifesto, the suspect praised the Christchurch, New Zealand, shooter and used white supremacist rhetoric to rant against immigrants and Latinos.

Days after the shooting, his family released a statement condemning his actions.

“Patrick’s actions were apparently influenced and informed by people we do not know, and from ideas and beliefs we do not accept or condone,” the family said in a statement issued Tuesday. “He was raised in a family that taught love, kindness, respect, and tolerance — rejecting all forms of racism, prejudice, hatred, and violence.”

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