The mass shooter who opened fire during Mass inside a Texas church killing at least 26 – including a two-year-old child – has been identified as a 26-year-old former Bible study teacher who was dishonorably discharged from the US Air Force.
Devin Patrick Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, dressed in black, tactical gear with a ballistics belt and an assault rifle, and began shooting, according to local law enforcement sources.
The attack only stopped when Kelley was tackled by a heroic local man who shot back at the mass shooter as he left the church.
Kelley, 26, of New Braunfels, a suburb of San Antonio, fled in his SUV but the unnamed neighbor, and another local man, had given chase.
Eventually, Kelley lost control of his car and swerved off the road near county lines on the 539 county road, in Guadalupe County, and was reportedly shot dead by the neighbor.
He was found deceased by the cops who also discovered multiple weapons and possible explosives in his vehicle.
‘We are not sure if it was self inflicted or if he was shot by a local resident,’ said Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin.
San Antonio police also raided Kelley’s home on Sunday evening, with K9 and bomb squad units.
Kelley, who was reportedly married, had recently posted a photo of an AR-15 style gun on his Facebook page with the caption: ‘She’s a bad b***h.’
A LinkedIn account which appears to be Kelley’s states that he joined the US Air Force after graduating New Braunfels High School in 2009. He worked in logistics and supply in the Air Force until he was dishonorably discharged in 2014 and was even court martialed in May 2014, CBS News reported.
He then volunteered as a teacher for Bible studies at Kingsville First Baptist Church, according to his LinkedIn which shows him posing which a young child. Police are now investigating the possibility that Kelley was in a local militia group.
Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr told CNN that at least 27 people – including the shooter- have been killed in the shooting, but the death toll is expected to climb. Victims include a two-year-old girl, a pregnant woman and the 14-year-old daughter of the pastor. The first responders on the scene were from local churches who began receiving texts from family and friends about the shooting.
The Connally Memorial Medical Center said ‘multiple’ victims are being treated.
What we know about the shooter
- Named as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26-year-old white male, of New Braunfels, a suburb of San Antonio,
- Was found dead in a crashed car after a brief chase following the shooting
- Was dressed in all black, tactical gear with a ballistics belt and multiple weapons in his car
- Fired outside the church, then went into the church and continued to fire
- Resident near the church intervened, and knocked the gun out of Kelley’s hands, then chased him in his car
- Kelley showed off an AR-15 rifle on Facebook recently
- Served in the military in ‘cargo, demand and supply and distribution’ but was dishonorably discharged
- Was married and believed to have taught a Bible studies at Kingsville First Baptist Church
Martin said that Kelley was spotted at 11.20am at a Valero gas station, ‘dressed in all black, tactical gear, wearing a ballistics belt.’
‘He crossed the street to the church, exited his vehicle and began firing on the church. He moved to the right side of the church and continued to fire, and entered the church and continued to fire.’
But as he left the church, the unnamed local hero risked his life to stop him.
‘A local resident grabbed his rifle and engaged the suspect,’ Martin said. ‘The suspect dropped his rifle, which was a Ruger assault type rifle, and fled from the church. A local citizen pursued the subject at that time.’