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WATCH: TX Mass Shooter’s Disturbing Secret Exposed
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Sunday’s tragic shooting in a small Texas church immediately put the nation on edge. Just a little over a month after the deadliest shooting in U.S. history occurred in Las Vegas, the tiny town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, experienced the deadliest attack on a house of worship in U.S. history.
New details reveal the gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, had a disturbing past — he was a former member of the U.S. Air Force who had received a bad conduct discharge in 2014. Two years prior, Kelley had been court-martialed and convicted of two counts of assault on his then-wife and child. His infant stepson’s skull was fractured in the violent assault.
“He assaulted his stepson severely enough that he fractured his skull, and he also assaulted his wife. He pled to intentionally doing it,” said Don Christenson, a retired chief prosecutor for the Air Force, according to The New York Times.
For this crime, Kelley was confined for twelve months and demoted. NBC reports that he was divorced from his wife in 2012; he remarried in 2014.
A resident of New Braunfels, Texas, Kelley apparently drove to the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and parked at the gas station across the street before walking to the church and opening fire on Sunday morning. The man wore black tactical gear and a ballistic vest.
Twenty-six people were killed and at least nineteen more were injured, including many children. The small congregation normally consisted of around fifty attendees.
The rampage stopped when a local plumber named Stephen Willeford, 55, arrived on the scene and opened fire on the shooter, wounding him in the process. As the shooter attempted to escape in his SUV, Willeford enlisted the aid of Johnnie Langendorff, another area resident, and the two chased Kelley for several miles before the shooter wrecked his vehicle.
Kelley was found dead inside of his vehicle. Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt says that Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Watch the story from CBS News below:
A Disturbed Individual
Although authorities have remained quiet about what inspired the shooter to kill over twenty worshippers, a disturbing picture is starting to emerge — circumstantial evidence points towards religious hatred as one possible motivation, along with his documented history of domestic violence.
A high school classmate of Kelley’s, Patrick Boyce, described Kelley as “quiet” and “depressed.” He also mentioned that Kelley was an atheist.
Another former classmate, Nina Rose Nava, said that Kelley’s Facebook page was replete with anti-Christian messages. She told the Daily Mail:
He was always talking about how people who believe in God we’re stupid and trying to preach his atheism.
He was an outcast but not a loner. He was popular among other outcast. I haven’t spoke to him since high school.
Michael Goff seconded Nava’s comments by saying:
He was weird but never that [censored] weird, always posting his atheist [censored] like Nina wrote, but [censored] he always posted pics of him and his baby – crazy.
The shooter also had a reputation for creepy behavior. Several ex-girlfriends say that Kelley “stalked” them. Katy Landry, a former girlfriend, told NBC:
Years after dating me he would try to bribe me to hang out with him. He ended up assaulting me. He would stalk me by repeatedly calling me — even prank calling me, saying really weird stuff.
That was another thing about him — he was very sick in the head…He would tell me very sick strange things
Another woman, Brittany Adcock, 22, says they dated for several months when she was 13 and he was 18. After she ended the relationship, he “continued to harass her.”
Adcock said, “He would offer me money to hang out with him quite a bit. There has been one point that I called the police because he was just calling me so much I wanted to report harassment.”
Where Do We Go?
As law enforcement investigates, social media wars are already breaking out. Many left-wing users have rushed to emphasize Kelley’s race, while right-wing commentators have emphasized Kelley’s alleged atheism.
Democrats are already using the tragedy to call for gun control. Barack Obama tweeted yesterday, “May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst,” and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted, “Thoughts & prayers are not enough, GOP. We must end this violence.”
Regardless, America needs to take a long hard look at our problem with violence. For hundreds of years, Americans have been armed with guns. Only since the 20th century have we been killing each other like this. What went wrong?
This is a developing story.
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