Air Force did not submit church shooting suspect's criminal history to FBI

They say he lived in a barn apartment behind his parents home with his wife and 2-year-old son.

AUSTIN - The Air Force didn't submit the Sutherland Springs gunman's criminal history to the FBI, as required by Pentagon rules, a statement to KVUE confirmed.

New Braunfels native Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, is accused of opening fire inside of a Sutherland Springs church Sunday, killing as many as 26 people and wounding 20 others, was a member of the United States Air Force until he was discharged for bad conduct, a spokesperson confirmed to KVUE.

The Air Force has now launched a review of how the service handled his criminal records. He was convicted in 2012 for a domestic violence situation involving his wife and his child.

"Initial information indicates that Kelley’s domestic violence offense was not entered into the National Criminal Information Center database by the Holloman Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations," the Air Force said.

An investigation has been launched, the Air Force said.

Neighbors told KVUE's Christy Millweard they believe Kelley lived with his wife and 2-year-old son in a barn apartment behind his parents' home, who have lived in the rural area for a decade. They added that it wasn't unheard of to hear gunshots from his backyard around 10 or 11 at night.

"You never think your neighbor is capable of something like that. Makes you wonder, right? If that's the case, if he did that, that kind of worries you, thinking we've been living next door to this guy," said Makr Moravitz, Kelley's neighbor.

Ann Stefanek, an Air Force spokeswoman, said from 2010 until his discharge, Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

The Air Force confirmed Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 on one count of assault on his wife and another on his child. He received a bad conduct discharge, 12 months' confinement and a reduction in rank. He was discharged two years later.

Kelley, dressed in black, wearing a ballistic vest and tactical gear, was allegedly armed with a Ruger assault-type rifle when he opened fire inside of the First Baptist church during the 11 a.m. service Nov. 5, killing children and adults alike, officials said.

Officials said an armed resident started firing at the suspect, forcing him to drop his weapon. Officials said it's not known yet if he died from a self-inflicted wound or by the hands of the armed resident.

U.S. officials told the Associated Press that Kelley lived in a San Antonio suburb and did not appear to be linked to terrorist organizations. Although they are investigating social media posts Kelley made days before the attack, where he can be seen holding an AR-15 semiautomatic weapon.

Authorities said Kelley purchased two firearms from Academy Sports and Outdoors locations in San Antonio. The company released the following statement on Monday:

Academy Sports + Outdoors sends our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and the entire Sutherland Springs community. Based on information we received from law enforcement, we confirmed that the suspect purchased two firearms from two San Antonio locations, one in 2016 and one in 2017. We also confirmed that both sales were approved by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). We are cooperating with law enforcement as they investigate further.

A Comal County background check revealed that Kelley did not have a criminal record as an adult, aside from a few traffic violations in 2008.

Schlitterbahn confirmed Kelley worked for the resort this summer, issuing the following statement:

"We, like the rest of our community, were horrified to learn of the tragedy in Sutherland Springs at the First Baptist Church. We are keeping everyone impacted by this malicious act in our thoughts and our prayers.

"Devin Patrick Kelley worked briefly – 5 1/2 weeks – this summer at Schlitterbahn New Braunfels as a seasonal unarmed night security guard. His employment was terminated in July.

"All our security guards must pass a criminal background check through the Texas Department of Public Safety."

More details on possible motives have yet to be revealed.

KVUE will update this page as more information becomes available.

RELATED | Sutherland Springs church shooting among nation's bloodiest

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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