A 26-year-old former Air Force airman was identified Monday as the suspect in the killing of 26 people at a Baptist church in Texas, the deadliest mass shooting in the state’s history.
Kelley was found dead in his vehicle several miles from the church after it ran off the road. Police said it is unclear if Kelley died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound or from a bullet from a local resident who pursued him as he left the church.
Authorities confirmed the death toll Monday, with victims ranging in age from 5 to 72. Twenty others were wounded after the suspect opened fire on the Sunday service congregation at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a small town about 40 east of San Antonio.
Here’s what we know about Devin Kelley:
- Devin Kelley was court-martialed and convicted of domestic violence in 2012 at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, where he had served in Logistics Readiness since 2010.
- Kelley was sentenced to 12 months confinement and given a bad conduct discharge. He unsuccessfully appealed his conviction with the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and was finally discharged in 2014.
- Authorities guarded the entrance to Kelley’s San Antonio home Sunday. Neighbors told AP they had heard loud gunfire in recent days. “It’s really loud. At first I thought someone was blasting,” one said. “It was someone using automatic weapon fire.”
- Officials told AP Kelley doesn’t appear to be linked to any organized terrorist groups but authorities are focusing on social media posts the shooter may have made in the days before the attack.
- Kelley posted a picture of an AR-15 semiautomatic weapon last week with the caption “She’s a bad bitch,” the Daily Beast reported.
- Kelley, armed with a Ruger AR assault-type rifle, entered the church wearing all black tactical-type gear along with a ballistic vest, Freeman Martin, the regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said in a press conference Sunday.
- According to records held by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Kelley was licensed to work as a security guard. The agency’s website revealed he worked at Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort in New Braunfels.
- Nothing is known about Kelley’s motive so far, but U.S. President Donald Trump labeled it a “mental health problem at the highest level“ Monday, calling Kelley “a very deranged individual.”
- As with previous shootings, Google searches for information about Kelley surfaced unsubstantiated claims, including suggestions he was a member of Antifa, a member of a pro-Bernie Sanders group, a Muslim convert, or named “Samir Al-Hajeeda.”