Dallas man learns sentence for federal hate crimes in 2015 shooting targeting Muslims

A Dallas man who fatally shot a victim in a 2015 mass shooting targeting Muslims was sentenced to 37 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to hate crimes related to the killing, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District North Texas. .

Anthony Paz Torres, 39, pleaded guilty of five counts of federal hate crimes on September 14, 2023, for killing one person and attempting to kill four others at Omar’s Wheels and Tires in Dallas in December 2015. He also pleaded guilty to one count of using a firearm to commit murder.

Torres admitted that in the days before the shooting, he had gone to the auto and tire repair shop, made anti-Muslim statements and said he would return, according to a press release from the office of the US Attorney. When he returned on December 14, 2015, he asked customers if they were Muslim before being escorted to his car by an employee.

Torres pulled out a gun and shot several times at customers and employees, the release said. He told investigators he did it because he thought the victims were Muslim.

A passerby sitting in a car near the business, aged 25. Enrique Garcia-Mendoza, was killed in the filming.

“As this sentence makes clear, hate crimes fueled by Islamophobia, or bias of any kind, will be met with the full force of the Department of Justice,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in the statement. Press. “No one in this country should have to live in fear because of who they are, the way they look or the way they pray. »

FBI Director Christopher Wray said the case was “a heinous example of how deadly Islamophobia can be in our country” and that the bureau makes civil rights-related investigations one of its most senior priorities.

Torres will receive credit for time served in state custody.

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