Devin Patrick Kelley targeted the church frequented by his wife’s family, according to local police. The family members were not present on the day of the deadly shooting, during which Kelly fatally shot 26 people.
Shooter Devin Patrick Kelley Photo Credit: Twitter/Channel 2 News
The shooter in the Texas church massacre may have been planning to harm his in-laws, who habitually attended the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. The family members were not at the church at the time of the deadly shooting that claimed the lives of 26 people.
“We know that his ex-in-laws or in-laws came to church here from time to time,” Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt told CNN on Monday. “They were not here yesterday. So we don’t know why he actually showed up yesterday.”
Scene of the shooting Photo Credit: Sky News/Channel 2 News
As previously reported by JOL, the shooter, 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, was a former US Air Force member who served at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. US Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek confirmed that Kelley was court-martialed about five years ago for assault on his wife and their child, adding that he received a bad conduct discharge in 2014 after his rank was reduced.
US President Donald Trump addressed the deadly shooting from Japan, where he was visiting as part of his tour of five nations in Asia, and stressed that the mass shooting “isn’t a guns situation.” Trump blamed the deadly act on the shooter’s mental health and called him a “very deranged individual.” Governor Greg Abbott called the incident the largest mass shooting in the state’s history and said that Kelley had evidently suffered from mental issues and violent tendencies.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the shooting continues. No connections to international terror organizations have been found. Investigators are currently trying to understand the gunman’s motivations and determine how he purchased his weapons as individuals who were discharged from the military for bad conduct are not legally allowed to hold firearms.
It appears that Kelly had two handguns in his vehicle in addition to the automatic weapon he used during his rampage. According to the County Sheriff, he died of a self-inflicted gunshot in his car after a brief call to his father.