SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — A man who allegedly opened fire inside a Texas church during Sunday’s service, killing at least 26 and injuring 20 others, tried to get a license to carry a gun in Texas, but the state denied him, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said, citing the director of Texas’ Department of Public Safety.
“So how was it that he was able to get a gun? By all the facts that we seem to know, he was not supposed to have access to a gun,” Abbott told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “So how did this happen?”
A picture is starting to emerge of the suspected gunman at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Two law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation identified the shooter as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26.
What we know about the shooting
Kelley was once a member of the US Air Force, spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said. He served in logistics readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, starting in 2010.
Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 for two counts of Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, assault on his spouse and assault on their child, Stefanek said. Kelley received a bad conduct discharge, confinement for 12 months and a reduction in rank, she said. The Air Force did not provide a date of the discharge.
Kelley is accused of killing 26 people, including the 14-year-old daughter of the church’s pastor, and injuring more.
A man who lives next door to the church grabbed his own gun and approached Kelley as he was leaving after the shooting. The gunman dropped a rifle in front of the church and fled in his car, officials said.
Kelley was found dead in his car from a gunshot wound about eight miles from the church, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told CNN. It’s not clear if he shot himself or if the neighbor shot him.
Kelley purchased the Ruger AR-556 rifle in April 2016 from an Academy Sports & Outdoors store in San Antonio, a law enforcement official told CNN.
When Kelley filled out the background check paperwork at the store, he checked the box to indicate he didn’t have disqualifying criminal history, the official said. He listed an address in Colorado Springs, Colorado when he bought the rifle, the official said.
Deadly mass shootings in modern US history
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the incident the largest mass shooting in the state’s history.