Amidst the deep grief and mourning the Sutherland Springs community is dealing with after 26-year-old Devin Kelley brutally murdered 26 churchgoers and injured 20 more is the question of “Why?” and “How can we keep this from happening again?”
Many Democrats have been quick to point to increased gun control as the best solution, even though Kelley’s guns were illegally obtained and possessed and he was actually stopped by a neighbor who also had a semi-automatic rifle. Others, like President Trump, are pointing to the mental health issues Kelley had for why he committed such an evil act, according to CNN.
Now it’s been revealed that Kelley once escaped from a mental health facility and was in the midst of planning a different mass shooting five years ago. ABC affiliate WFAA obtained an El Paso Police Department report outlining the incidents.
According to the report, Kelley was at the beginning of court-martial proceedings in 2012 over the beating of his wife and child. In fact, in addition to repeatedly assaulting his wife, he hit his infant stepson so hard that he broke his skull, the New York Times.
The Air Force said Kelley hit him with enough “force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm” and that the airman admitted to doing it on purpose, not by accident. He was also accused of threatening his wife with a loaded gun but only received a year in military confinement after a plea agreement. Somewhere around that time — the report is unclear — Kelley was committed to a mental health facility but broke out. He was caught not too far away.
On top of that, Sunland Police officers reported that Kelley was known to be “a danger to himself and others as he had already been caught sneaking firearms” onto the premises of Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, about 75 miles north of El Paso, Texas.
Why was he sneaking weapons onto base? The report says he “was attempting to carry out death threats that [he] had made on his military chain of command.”
Survivors of Sunday’s church shooting have described Kelley as a cold-blooded killer who methodically moved from row to row in the small church shooting even infants at point-blank range with guns that he was able to purchase and possess over the past few years because the Air Force had not informed the FBI that he was a convicted spouse abuser. As this information has come out, it’s led many people to wonder why Kelley has been allowed to roam free all these years.
“WHY THE H--- WASN’T HE IN JAIL?” asked renowned conservative Ben Shapiro in a headline at the Daily Wire.
“The Texas shooting was a failure of law enforcement and the criminal justice system,” Shapiro wrote. “And it demonstrates once again that the greatest problem facing innocent Americans when it comes to brutal and evil men is the government’s utter inability to enforce its own dictates.”
What do you think of this? Read more about the church survivors’ account of how exactly Kelley conducted his attack on their close-knit congregation.