Yesterday the first indicators of a longer pattern of violence and anti-social behavior began to emerge. Today some of the space between those details begins to fill in. The gunman’s violent past includes: animal abuse, domestic violence and a history of stalking.
Texas gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, killed 26 people and wounded dozens more during his rampage at the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church, and yesterday we began to discover his disturbing past including a year spent in military prison.
Today media reports are digging deeper and show the reason Kelley spent a year in prison was for abusing his wife and breaking the skull of his infant son. According to the Air Force, in 2012 while Kelley was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico in he was charged with “assault on his spouse and assault on their child.”
Retired Colonel Don Christensen, who was the lead Air Force prosecutor during the case, said:
“[Kelley] assaulted his stepson severely enough that he fractured his skull, and he also assaulted his wife. He plead to intentionally doing it.”
After Kelley spent a year in prison, he was kicked out of the military with a “bad conduct” discharge; similar to, but just a notch below, the more well-known dishonorable discharge.
Additionally, NBC News is reporting after the 2012 attack on his wife, Tessa Kelley, she divorced him. It appears Kelley remarried and the second marriage also had domestic issues. The shooter’s mother-in-law, also attended the church where the shooting took place.
(Via NBC) The gunman who turned a Texas church into a shooting gallery had a turbulent and violent past, including a court-martial from the Air Force for fracturing his baby stepson’s skull, an animal cruelty arrest — and a habit of harassing ex-girlfriends.
“He was very sick in the head,” Katy Landry, a former girlfriend of Devin Patrick Kelley, told NBC News.
[…] What was behind this act of carnage in a place of sanctuary? Authorities have not specified a motive but they noted that his mother-in-law had attended the church and been threatened by him.
[…] Records show his first wife divorced him in 2012 in New Mexico. “She’s very upset,” her mother told NBC News, adding that she did not want to speak about him until she was interviewed by law enforcement.
Kelley remarried in Texas in 2014. The status of that marriage was not clear, but authorities said there was a “domestic situation” with his in-laws.
“The suspect’s mother-in-law attended this church,” Freeman Martin, regional director of the state Department of Public Safety, said at a Monday news conference. “She has received threatening texts from him.” (read more)
Federal and Texas law prohibit persons convicted of domestic violence from owning a firearm. It is unclear how Devin Kelley was able to purchase the weapon(s) used in the First Baptist Church massacre.