Eleven months before his son was arrested for allegedly murdering 20 people and injuring scores more with an assault rifle in El Paso, Texas, John Bryan Crusius started a GoFundMe page for a musician suffering the consequences of gun violence long after being shot by a stranger who appeared at his door.
The page included a photo of a critically wounded Eric Keyes lying on a hospital gurney. John Crusius wrote that Keyes had been struck by an “overwhelming series of traumatic events,” Crusius reported: “A mentally ill person showed up unannounced at Eric’s door in Denton, TX and told Eric he was a fan of his music. He pulled a gun and shot Eric from short range, the bullet piercing his chest and breaking three ribs, missing his heart by one millimeter, and finally lodged in his left arm. He suffered a collapsed lung (could not sing anymore) and nerve damage that extended to his left arm (could not play guitar).”
John Crusius does not say so in the posting, but he is a mental health counselor. The Veterans Administration had referred Keyes to Crusius’ clinic in Richardson, Texas for help with PTSD such as an ever growing number of American civilians suffer after being shot. Keyes needs only to hear a doorbell ring and he flashes back to the shooting. The gunman was later said by police to believe Keyes had sexually assaulted a woman eight years before. Keyes had been arrested for a sexual assault, but the charges had been dropped. Keyes only says that his assailant was deranged.
Cynics might wonder about the effectiveness of the “‘whole’ person: Body, Mind and Spirit” approach at John Crusius’ Infused Being Therapy and Sound Healing clinic. Keyes found him to be a true healer.
“He does a lot of good work,” Keyes told The Daily Beast.
John Crusius sought also to help Keyes with his immediate financial problems, which had at one point forced him to sell his guitars and amplifiers. Crusius’ daughter, Emily, assisted her father’s effort by posting the GoFundMe page on Facebook. She kicked in $60.
Imagine the shock for father and daughter when they learned her twin brother Patrick Crusius had been identified by police as the gunman and arrested for Friday’s horrific carnage in El Paso. The added twist is that the twins’ mother is a registered nurse such as those who tended the wounded —a 4-month-old baby, a 2-year-old, and a 9-year-old among them—at two local hospitals.
In a “manifesto” that police believe Patrick Crusius posted shortly before the shooting, the author begins by endorsing the views of the alleged Christchurch shooter, accused of murdering 51 people at a mosque in New Zealand in March. Patrick Crusius appears to have spoken of himself in the manifesto as defending his nation against an “Hispanic invasion” just as the alleged New Zealand gunman had written in his own manifesto about a Muslim invasion.
In both mass murders, the alleged perpetrators would have been termed "lone wolves" had they been Muslims. Lone wolf gunmen of whatever persuasion can more accurately termed just lone losers who made themselves deadly with assault rifles. The New Zealand lone loser chose an AR-15. The El Paso lone loser used an AK-47-style assault rifle, as had another lone loser last month at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California.The El Paso lone loser had also allegedly brought a handgun, but police say he left that in the dark grey Honda he parked outside the Walmart. He apparently wanted the weapon that could inflict maximum damage.
A photo of an actual defender of the nation appears on Emily Crusius’s Facebook page, this of a classmate from Plano High School who is now serving in the Marines. A picture taken at Camp Pendleton shows him holding an assault rifle, a weapon of war designed to be used in war.
In posting this photo, Emily Crusius indicates she is proud of her buddy in the Marines, who appears to feel pretty proud himself. He is fit and clear-eyed and he has an air of purpose. He stands as a highly trained member of an elite organization whose collective motto is “Semper Fi,” always faithful. He is the very opposite of a lone loser.
On Saturday afternoon, the picture of her buddy the proud Marine was joined on Emily Crusius’ page by a photo someone posted of her twin in the back of a police radio car. Patrick Crusius was rear cuffed, having just been arrested at the scene of the nation’s latest mass shooting. He seemed to have returned to a paltry truth of himself that no assault rifle could change. He had just turned 21 on July 27 and his major accomplishment at Collin College —according to a document he appears to have posted online himself just before the shooting—had been showing up inebriated at chemistry lab.
The difference was that 20 or more innocents were dead. And the survivors would begin a struggle such as his father had sought to ease for Keyes.
“It’s gotten so crazy,” Keyes told The Daily Beast. “It’s like just every day.”
Keyes said he had never met his counselor’s son and did not even know John Cruisius had twins. Keyes also reported that he had taught himself to play guitar and is about to release an anti-violence music video.
“Violence is the lowest form of expression,” he rightly noted.