ALLEN, Texas - The Allen Police Department now confirms the mother of El Paso "domestic terrorism" suspect Patrick Crusius contacted the department about her 21-year-old son owning a gun weeks before the mass shooting.
Police originally said there was no record of the phone call made by the mother. However late Thursday, Allen PD said they found that a security camera did record part of the call and explained why the call didn't warrant any further officer involvement.
Investigators say the call was made just before noon on June 27. They say the suspect's mother was solely focused on the fact that her son bought a high-powered rifle online and was concerned about his “lack of experience” with a weapon.
As Crusius sits in jail -- accused of fatally shooting 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso on Saturday -- an attorney for his mother says she placed a call to Allen PD weeks before the massacre because she was concerned about her son owning an "AK-type” firearm.
Attorney Chris Aryes says the mother contacted police because she was worried about her son -- whose name she did not give during the call -- owning the weapon "given his age, maturity level, and lack of experience handling such a firearm."
Aryes added that a public safety officer told the mom that based on the information provided by her, the 21-year-old "was legally allowed to purchase the weapon."
The attorney says the call was "informational in nature...not motivated out of a concern that her son posed a threat to anybody, and that she didn't identify herself and police didn't ask.
Police, at first, said they only had records of three incidents involving Crusius. One involved a false burglary alarm at the family home earlier this year. Another was when he was on a Plano ISD bus that was involved in a minor wreck, and the third was when Crusius reportedly ran away from home, but then later returned.
After some further investigation, Allen PD found the call between the suspect’s mother and a public safety officer.
The actual audio of the call was not recorded, but a security camera video did capture the officer’s side of the call. In the video, police say you can clearly hear the questions from the public safety officer but not the responses from the mother. They say the officer asked a series of questions about possible red flags.
In their opinion, Allen PD says the call only appeared to be a concerned mother fearing her son’s apparent lack of experience with firearms.
“The caller started to reveal the real concern was for the safety of her son. She was fearful that he would injure himself with this type of a weapon,” said Allen Police Sgt. Jon Felty. “So after that, the public service officer comes around again and says, ‘Is your son suicidal? Has he made any threats against others? Or a dramatic change in his behavior that would cause alarm?’ The answer to those was no. So again she states she was concerned at 21 years of age that he was emotionally immature and, in her view, should not possess a weapon at his age and level of maturity.”
Police say it’s common for people to call with these types of concerns and say it’s not uncommon to call anonymously.