The Latest on the church shooting in Texas (all times local):
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Authorities said at a news conference Monday morning that a "domestic situation" was taking place within the family of the gunman who shot up a church in Texas, and that gunman Devin Kelley's mother-in-law had received threatening texts from him.
The mother-in-law had attended the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs where the shootings occurred. She was not at the church on Sunday, a local lawman said.
“This was not racially motivated, it wasn’t over religious beliefs,” Freeman Martin of the Texas Department of Public Safety said at a news briefing. “There was a domestic situation going on within the family and the in-laws.”
Martin, the DPS regional director for south Texas, said Kelley didn’t have a license to carry a gun.
He also said Kelley wore a black mask with skull-like features during the shootings. “He was dressed in all black. At that time I'm not sure if he had the mask on or not. But he was wearing a black mask that had a white face — skull face — to it. Then he drove across the church and exited the vehicle and started the shooting,” Martin said.
He added: “He was wearing a ballistic vest with a plate on the front. There was no plate on the back.”
Kelley, 26, was found to have a self-inflicted gunshot wound after the carnage, but it is unclear if the wound was fatal or if he died from other injuries.
Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said that he did not yet know what the motive could have been, but he said that the shooter’s in-laws live in a nearby town and had previously attended the church on several occasions.
Martin said the victims being treated at area hospitals ranged in age from 5 to 73 years old, while the deceased victims inside the church ranged from 18 months to 77.
The Wilson County district attorney, Audrey Gossett Louis, said the families need financial assistance, but do not need canned goods or non-perishables. She said bank accounts have been set up for them.
The 26-year-old gunman who entered a rural Texas church with a ballistic vest and a military-style rifle, killing at least 26 people Sunday, had been trailed by trouble for years. Devin Patrick Kelley, a former member of the U.S. Air Force, had been convicted at court-martial and jailed for domestic abuse, kicked out of the military, divorced and charged with animal cruelty.
In 2012, while stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Kelley was charged with “assault on his spouse and assault on their child” according to Ann Stefanek, the Air Force’s chief of media operations. He was convicted at court-martial and sentenced in November of that year to 12 months confinement and reduction to the lowest possible rank, E-1. After his confinement, he was discharged from the military with a bad conduct discharge. It is unclear whether his conviction would have barred him from purchasing a gun.
That same year, he was divorced in New Mexico from his first wife, according to court records. When he was discharged from the Air Force in 2014, Kelley remarried in Texas to Danielle Lee Shields in April of that year, according to state records.
A few months later he registered to vote in Colorado Springs – a city with several Air Force bases – listing his address as parking space 60 at a shabby collection of trailers in a gravel lot called the Fountain Creek RV Park.
A woman living in a camper next door, who gave her name only as Susan, said a man of similar age and description lived in spot 60 for a few months during that time, but she never learned his name.
“He was kind of off, lived here with a woman,” she said as she loaded blankets into one of the RV Park’s washing machines.
He said hello a few times in passing but was never friendly and stayed only a few months. She never heard any arguments from his trailer.
“The only thing that sticks out about him was his dog,” she said.
He had a pit bull puppy that he kept tied up in the sun all day outside of his RV, she said. She also recalled an incident where police were called because the man had struck the dog in the head.
The police arrived and there was a standoff for approximately an hour, she said, in which her neighbor refused to come out of his trailer.
Records show Kelley was charged with cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor, in August 2014. The case was dismissed. He moved out a few weeks later, she said.
Kelley, whose father, Michael Kelley, is a computer programmer and accountant, enlisted in the Air Force soon after graduating from New Braunfels High School in Texas in 2009. Devin Kelley served as a low-ranking airman in a logistics readiness battalion. A LinkedIn account in his name says he worked in cargo and distribution.
By 2017, he had returned to a house in New Braunfels that records show was owned by his parents. The house was about an hour from the church where the shooting occurred.
Michael Kelley, in a short biography posted on the website of his small software company, Dilloware, said the family has three children. Devin Kelley is the middle child.
Gunman Devin Kelley's in-laws attended the Texas church he shot up before killing himself on Sunday, a local lawman said.
The in-laws weren't at the Baptist church in Sutherland Springs when Kelley – decked out in tactical gear and armed with an assault rifle – killed 26 people, Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt told CNN.
An armed resident first wounded Kelley as he left the church, authorities told the network.
The gunman had dropped his rifle in the church after slaughtering the parishioners; he pulled a pistol during his exchange with the bystander.
The bystander – who Tackitt said is a “hero” but declined to give his name – then waved down a man in a vehicle and the two began pursuing the gunman, Tackitt said in an interview with CBS, and may have engaged in a firefight along the way before the gunman’s vehicle crashed into a fence.
Kelley’s carnage killed 4 percent of the population in Sutherland Springs, a small town about 35 miles east of San Antonio, Tackitt said.
Kelley's victims ranged from age 5 to 72, and practically everyone inside was wounded.
"I think nearly everyone had some type of injury," Tackitt told reporters Monday morning.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is suggesting there may have been a connection between the gunman who shot and killed 26 people in a South Texas community and the Baptist church where the slayings happened.
Abbott tells ABC’s “Good Morning America” he expects people will learn about any such link “in a few days.” He said he didn’t want to go further, saying “law enforcement is looking very aggressively into this.”
“I don’t think this was just a random act of violence,” Abbott told anchor George Stephanopoulos. But when pressed to elaborate on his connection theory, the governor replied that “it’s very important that law enforcement have the ability … to tie the loose ends of this investigation up.”
He called the man, identified by a U.S. official and one in law enforcement as Devin Kelley, “a very deranged individual.”
The man officials have identified as the gunman in a mass shooting at a Texas church was discharged from the Air Force for allegedly assaulting his spouse and child, according to an Air Force spokeswoman.
The spokeswoman, Ann Stefanek, said Sunday that Devin Kelley served 12 months’ confinement after a 2012 court-martial. He ultimately received a bad conduct discharge and reduction in rank.
She said Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge in 2014. His job was responsible for moving passengers, cargo and personal property in military transportation.
Authorities did not announce his name at a news conference on the shooting, saying only that the suspect was a white male in his 20s.
But a U.S. official and a law enforcement official identified Kelley as the person who opened fire Sunday at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and wounding about 20 others.
The U.S. official told the AP that Kelley lived in a San Antonio suburb and that he doesn’t appear to be linked to organized terrorist groups. The official said investigators are looking at social media posts Kelley may have made in the days before Sunday’s attack, including one that appeared to show an AR-15 style semi-automatic weapon. The official requested anonymity because the person did not have authorization to speak publicly.
An address listed in online records as belonging to Kelley is located in New Braunfels, Texas, just outside San Antonio and about 35 miles (56 kilometers) from Sutherland Springs.
Local records of an August traffic ticket issued in New Braunfels, Texas, for an expired registration and not having auto insurance give a birthdate that would make him 26 years old.
At the address listed for Kelley in New Braunfels on Sunday, two sheriff’s vans were parked outside and police officers stood at the gate of a cattle fence surrounding the property. Law enforcement officials gathered at the property declined to comment on why they were there. Several messages left for his relatives went unreturned.
Neighbors said that they heard intense gunfire coming from the direction of the address listed for Kelley in recent days.
“It’s really loud. At first I thought someone was blasting,” said Ryan Albers, 16, who lives across the road. “It had to be coming from somewhere pretty close. It was definitely not just a shotgun or someone hunting. It was someone using automatic weapon fire.”
A person matching Kelley’s name and date of birth also registered in 2014 to vote in Colorado, with an address listed in Colorado Springs, home of the U.S. Air Force Academy. The Colorado Secretary of State’s office lists his registration now as inactive.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety regional director Freeman Martin, the gunman arrived at a Valero gas station near the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs at around 11:20 a.m. Sunday. He was dressed in black, wearing tactical gear and a ballistic vest.
He crossed the street to the church, left his vehicle and started firing a Ruger AR assault-type rifle at the church. Then he entered the church and fired.
As he left the church, the shooter met an unidentified area resident with his own rifle who pursued him. The suspect was found dead in his vehicle near the border between Wilson and Guadalupe counties.
Martin said it’s unclear if he died of a self-inflected wound or was shot by the resident.
In Tokyo, President Trump said the mass shooting at a Texas church “isn’t a guns situation,” but is a “mental health problem at the highest level.”
Devin Kelley, the man authorities have identified as the gunman, was discharged from the Air Force sthree years ago for allegedly assaulting his spouse and a child, according to an Air Force spokeswoman.
While no officials have publicly questioned Kelley’s mental health, Trump said that “is your problem here.” He offered no details.
“This was a very, based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual. A lot of problems over a long period of time,” Trump said when asked about the shooting as he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a joint news conference in Tokyo during Trump’s first official visit to Asia.
“We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. But this isn’t a guns situation,” the president said.
The attack happened Sunday morning when a man dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside a Baptist church in a small South Texas community, killing 26 people and wounding at least 16 others in what the governor said is the deadliest mass shooting in state history.
Trump first tweeted that he was monitoring the situation from Japan. He later described the shooting as an “act of evil” during remarks to a gathering of American and Japanese business executives. Abe also offered condolences.
Trump said “fortunately somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction otherwise it (wouldn’t) have been as bad as it was. It would have been much worse.”
“But this is a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very, very sad event.”
The shooting comes just over a month after a gunman opened fire on an outdoor music festival on the Las Vegas Strip from the 32nd floor of a hotel-casino, killing 58 people and wounding more than 500. Trump visited Las Vegas soon after to meet with families of victims and first responders.
In the days after the Las Vegas shooting, Trump and his aides declined to discuss possible changes to gun laws, saying it was too soon after the tragedy to discuss policy. Trump on Monday ignored shouted questions about whether the U.S. needs to consider tightening gun laws.
Authorities say a gunman armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside a small South Texas church, killing 26 people who ranged in age from 5 to 72.
The mass shooting occurred Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio. About 20 others were wounded in the attack.
Two officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity identified the gunman as Devin Kelley. An Air Force spokeswoman said records confirm Kelley received a bad conduct discharge after being court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his spouse and child.
Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. described the scene inside the church as “terrible.”
Investigators have not yet determined a motive for the attack.