Liveblog: At Least 20 Dead in Texas Church Shooting
According to Fox News, a local sheriff is saying that the church in Sutherland was a "random target." Kelley had no connection to the church, according to the report. I'm not sure how they make such a determination. Could he have just as soon shot up a Walmart? Or a Planned Parenthood clinic? It seems premature to make such a determination at this point, but perhaps law enforcement officials have learned something that would indicate the randomness of the attack.
The conspiracy theorist and fake news outlets are out in force today:
According to the article, there were two shooters, one of whom was carrying an antifa flag and a copy of Das Kapital, blah, blah, blah. The site offers no documentation for any of its claims and contradicts what law enforcement has said about there being a single shooter. I'm arguing with someone on Facebook who said, "How do you know it isn't true?" Sigh. Please check your sources before you share things.
Fox news is now reporting that Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his wife and his child.
Kelley received a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force, in addition to confinement for 12 months and was reduced in rank.
Kelley worked as a security guard for a Texas waterpark this past summer, according to a resume under his name that appears online.
Investigators said Kelley didn't appear to be connected to any organized terrorist groups.
We're learning more about the Texas church shooter tonight. Twenty-six-year-old Devin Patrick Kelly was court-marshaled for assaulting his wife and child in 2012. According to The Daily Beast, he worked at a water park this past summer and his mother-in-law has a mailing address in Sutherland, where the shooting happened. Kelley himself lived in New Braunfels, a suburb of San Antonio. TBD reported:
Kelley was discharged from the Air Force in 2014, according to Defense Department records. Kelley was court-martialed in November 2012 for assaulting his wife and their child. A judge sentenced him with a bad-conduct discharge, 12 months confinement, and two reductions in rank to basic airman, according to an appeals court decision in 2013 that affirmed the decision against Kelley.
On his Facebook page (which has been taken down), Devin Patrick Kelley seemed to have an interest in atheism.
Still looking into the rumors regarding his alleged antifa connection. Not seeing any clear evidence of that, yet.
A week ago, according to The Daily Beast, Kelley posted this photo of a semiautomatic rifle to Facebook with the caption: “She’s a bad bitch.”
According to multiple reports, the Texas church shooter was dishonorably discharged from the military:
A dishonorable discharge (DD), similarly referred to as a "duck dinner" in military slang, can only be handed down to an enlisted member by a general court-martial. Dishonorable discharges are handed down for what the military considers the most reprehensible conduct. This type of discharge may be rendered only by conviction at a general court-martial for serious offenses (e.g., desertion, sexual assault, murder, etc.) that call for dishonorable discharge as part of the sentence.
With this characterization of service, all veterans' benefits are lost, regardless of any past honorable service, and this type of discharge is regarded as shameful in the military. In many states a dishonorable discharge is deemed the equivalent of a felony conviction, with attendant loss of civil rights. Additionally, US federal law prohibits possession of firearms by those who have been dishonorably discharged per the Gun Control Act of 1968.
There has been no indication (so far) that it was an automatic weapon.
Churches are a little rattled after the horrendous attack today in Texas. I went to our church's evening service tonight — a Baptist church in a small town, not unlike Sutherland. We arrived late due to inclement weather in the area and found the doors locked from the inside. One of the deacons, acting out of an abundance of caution, had locked the doors and was "on patrol" in the lobby. There were conversations afterward about how churches can/should prepare for an active shooter situation. I know several men (and probably a few women) in our congregation carry when they're in church, but today's attack was a complete ambush. Most, if not all of the congregants would have been focused on the sermon or the music at the front of the sanctuary. An attacker could get off hundreds of rounds before anyone realized what was going on. There's no way a church can fully prepare for such a situation. Most wouldn't want to employ armed guards or force attendees to go through metal detectors.
We comforted each other with God's promises, knowing that "Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord" 2 Corinthians 5:8. Most, if not all of the victims who perished today had that same assurance and are worshipping in heaven today.
Pastor Paul Burford, who ministers at a church near First Baptist in Sutherland, echoed those words of hope tonight:
“We’re just standing on the fact that all those that were in that church were believers, to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord,” Buford said. “That’s the thing that is going to keep us strong is knowing in our faith, they are with their lord and savior right now.”
The suspect, Devin Kelly, had a military background.
The suspect's identity was reported by the New York Times and CBS News, who cited anonymous sources.
A LinkedIn profile believed to belong to the suspect listed the man's profession as a "management consulting professional" who served in the Air Force from his high school graduation in 2009 to 2013.
The job description stated: "Cargo, demand and supply, distribution".
The profile also indicated that he then taught bible studies to children aged four to six in June 2013.