El Paso

Suicide watch: Here's a look at the Walmart shooting suspect's jail experience

Crusius has been under observation since Aug. 7

Accused shooter suicide watch

EL PASO, Texas - ABC-7 has now received new, detailed information about the suicide watch involving Patrick Crusius at the jail in downtown El Paso.

Crusius, 21, has been under suicide watch since Aug. 7, four days after he turned himself into authorities and claimed that he was responsible for the deadly mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart.

Chris Acosta, the spokeswoman for the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, declined an on-camera interview about jail policy regarding suicide watch. But in an email to ABC-7, Acosta laid out the policy in full.

Acosta said that an inmate is placed on suicide watch by medical personnel.

Those under this type of observation are checked more frequently by detention officers, Acosta said. She said that they are checked either every 15 to 30 minutes or "constantly."

Inmates in general population are checked every 60 minutes.

When asked if the shooting suspect is being physically checked on or monitored on cameras, Acosta told ABC-7 that there are cameras in some cells, but she couldn't get more specific due to security reasons.

Acosta also said that they follow recommendations issued by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

The TCJS website lists monitoring recommendations for those under suicide watch to be documented and face-to-face, and for "two-way voice communication" to occur between inmates and officers at all times.

"Closed circuit television may be used, but not in lieu of the required personal observation," the TCJS website stated.

Acosta also confirmed that razors and writing instruments are taken from inmates on suicide watch. She added that other items are removed based on the inmate's behavior and a medical review.

As ABC-7 previously reported, the shooting suspect is being held in isolation.

Regardless of whether an inmate is being held in isolation, general population, or is under suicide watch, Acosta said that the TCJS requires all inmates to have two 20-minute visitation periods and three hours of recreation a week. They also have phone access for outgoing calls (that they must pay for) and access to what she described as a "small TV."


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