EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A 27-year-old El Paso man, accused of pointing a gun at migrants and sending them running for safety, claimed he was “doing it for America,” according to court documents obtained by KTSM.
An arrest affidavit for Steven Driscoll says several witnesses saw him drive by an area that had been blocked off for migrants and where a city bus was providing shelter near the Greyhound Bus Station in Downtown El Paso. Driscoll was seen making a U-turn, getting out of the truck and approaching the blocked-off area before pointing a gun at several migrants.
A “migrant witness” told investigators that he and his friend saw a man with a gun on his side approach the blocked-off area and followed to see him pull out his gun.
Migrants began to yell to warn others that there was a man with a gun.
A migrant who was inside the blocked-off area said the man pointed the gun at others and then pointed it at him. The man said he was scared for his life, adding that he had seen videos of mass shootings and thought “this was the end of my life.”
Another witness described seeing migrants run from the gunman.
Police say Driscoll pointed a gun at migrants about two hours earlier outside Sacred Heart Church in South El Paso.
A call was made to 911 around 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 to report a suspicious man harassing migrants near the church.
According to court documents, the same caller went to the area near the Greyhound Bus Station to warn migrants that a man had been harassing migrants outside the church, which is about a mile away.
Responding police officers could not locate the suspect’s vehicle after the first report. However, the suspect allegedly returned to the area just after midnight, and police found the suspect’s vehicle, a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado truck with New Mexico license plates, near the Greyhound Bus Station on Santa Fe Street in Downtown El Paso.
Driscoll allegedly drove off when police officers asked him to exit his vehicle. Police gave chase, but a mechanical issue forced them to abandon the pursuit of the truck.
Investigators traced the New Mexico license plate on the suspect’s truck to the registered owner, Driscoll’s uncle. Upon arriving at the owner’s home, Driscoll allegedly exited the house, told officers he knew why they were there and said his uncle loaned him the truck for work.
Inside the Silverado, police located a .22-caliber rifle, along with 12 9mm casings, the casing of an unknown caliber, three 9mm cartridges, four unmarked cartridges, and one orange FRAM oil filter.
The document does not say whether investigators found a handgun.
Driscoll is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; evading arrest and/or detention in a motor vehicle; and disorderly conduct. He also faces federal charges of a felon in possession of a firearm.
Records show the FBI was brought into the investigation on Jan. 1, after the El Paso Police Department contacted them.
According to a federal affidavit obtained by KTSM, Driscoll was able to purchase a .22 caliber Savage Model 64 rifle at a gun show, despite being convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and assault family/household member with impeded breath/circulation in June 2018.
Court documents state Driscoll admitted to authorities that he was aware he was prohibited from owning a firearm due to his prior convictions, which is why he fled from El Paso police officers during the Downtown traffic stop.
Driscoll remains behind bars at the El Paso County Jail with bond set at $80,000.