Investigators are looking into the motive behind the Sutherland Springs shooting that took 26 lives. They have begun looking at the background of the lone gunman, Devin Patrick Kelly, who opened fire at the First Baptist Church in the small Texas town.
Authorities believe that the motive may have something to do with his violent relationship with his ex-wife and her family. AP revealed that Kelley’s former mother-in-law attended the church, and she had received threatening texts from him.
The gunman fired a Ruger assault-style rifle into the congregation before being shot by a local man. Kelley then fled in his car; he eventually ran off the roadway and took his own life. The attacker eventually ran off the roadway and apparently took his own life.
26-year-old Kelley had experience with weapons. He was a former member of the U.S. Air Force. His time with the Air Force was rocky. He was court-martialed in 2012 and sentenced to a year in military prison for assaulting his wife and his child, reported The Washington Post.
“He was reduced in rank and released with a bad-conduct discharge in 2014,” added the news agency, observing that this makes him the latest mass attacker with a past of domestic violence.
Likewise, USA Today reported that Kelley’s attack on the church seems to “have stemmed from a domestic dispute and is not being investigated as terrorism.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety official Freeman Martin identified family connections to the church. He told authorities that Kelley's in-laws had attended services at the First Baptist Church, but they were not present during the shooting.
"We can tell you that there was a domestic situation going on within this family," Martin said. "This was not racially motivated; it wasn't over religious beliefs."
Kelley’s shooting rocked the people of Sutherland Springs. The tiny Texas town has fewer than 700 people.
“Nearly everyone [inside] had some type of injury,” said Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said. “I knew several people in there. It hasn’t really hit yet, but it will.”
The gruesomeness of the attack also shocked Tackitt. He told the Washington Post that the dead were all over the inside of the church.
“[It was] a horrific sight,” Tackitt said, adding “you don’t expect to walk into church and find mauled bodies,” adding that between 12 and 14 of those killed or injured in the attack were children.
Of course, the debate over the shooting as already steered towards gun control. However, none of the people inside the church were armed. It took a good guy with a gun driving by to stop the carnage.
“People from this community would never think this could happen,” said the sheriff about why no one was armed.
Please pray for everyone involved in the shooting. This is a terrible tragedy coming little more than a month after the October 1 shooting in Las Vegas.
In other news, a Hollywood celebrity is in hot water after the callous thing she said about the shooting.