Mass Shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas
On Sunday, November 5, 2017, a gunman barged into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people along with injuring about 20 more.
The shooter, 26 year old Devin Patrick Kelley, had been dressed in all black along with wearing a skull face mask and a ballistic, or bullet proof, vest. He carried tactical gear and multiple rounds of ammunition on him. The shooting occurred during the church’s morning services. At this time Kelley exited his vehicle and began shooting outside of the church using a rifle. He then walked into the church and began firing at people. He then exchanged in an open fire with an armed bystander. The suspect then got into his vehicle and drove off, followed by the bystander as well as one of his companions. Soon after, the suspect crashed his car in a neighboring county and was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head by authorities.
The gunman’s motive has not yet been found, but authorities suspect it was a domestic situation with his family that motivated the killings. Kelley could have had anger driven towards his now-estranged wife. Kelley, who grew up 30 miles from the church, had served in the Air Force. He had been sentenced to one year confinement and was discharged for misconduct in 2014. He was court-martial-ed in 2012 on the account of assaulting his previous wife and their two year old stepson. The Air Force said on Monday that they had failed to enter the gunman’s domestic violence court-martial into the federal database that could have blocked his purchase of the military-style rifle that he used to fire at the church.
Among the people dead were twenty-three commoners, two found outside, and one who died in the ambulance ride to the hospital. About twenty others were rushed to the hospital, ranging from minor to major injuries. The victims, including the dead and hurt, ranged from unborn children to a 72 year old.