The man who gunned down 26 people at a Texas church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday had a history of mental instability, according to newly revealed police records.
Gunman Devin Kelley escaped a mental health facility in 2012 and threatened to kill his superiors in the U.S. Air Force, according to El Paso, Texas, police records, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. He also was accused of sexual assault in 2013, revealed the Comal County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office, though that case was dropped for unknown reasons.
It previously was reported that Kelley served a year in military prison for assaulting his wife and stepson. He was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force in 2014.
The new disclosures show that despite Kelley’s well-documented history of mental instability, he was permitted to buy four guns between 2014 and 2017.
The Air Force has admitted failing to report his history of domestic violence to the databases used to perform background checks on gun purchasers. Military officials have ordered an internal review of the case.
One incident report said Kelley “had already been caught sneaking firearms onto Holloman Air Force Base” in New Mexico and described his as “a danger to himself and others,” according to the Times report.
Investigators believe Kelley’s attack may have been motivated by a domestic disagreement with his mother-in-law, who is a member of the church’s congregation but was not present during the attack.
Kelley also sometimes attended the First Baptist Church, but the pastor “did not think he was a good person and did not want him around his church,” according to Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt, in a CNN report on Tuesday. “But he said, ‘How do I run him away from my church?’”