Air Force Failed to Report Texas Church Gunman's Domestic Violence Convictions

The error allowed him to buy a gun

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas - The US Air Force admits that vital information on the Texas church shooter's violent past fell through the cracks, which opened the door to his ability to purchase weapons.

Officials say legally, Devin Patrick Kelly was not supposed to own a gun.

But the Air Force says an officer failed to enter Kelly's domestic violence court-martial into a national database that would have barred him from buying weapons.

That database would have alerted whoever sold Kelley his weapons that he was ineligible to own firearms under the 1996 Lautenberg Amendment, which bars anyone convicted of domestic violence — even misdemeanors — from getting access to guns.

Police say Kelly opened fire in the sanctuary of a small Sutherland Springs church during Sunday morning worship service.

He killed 26 people... including eight victims spanning three generations of the same family.

Half of those he killed were children...the youngest, just 18 months old.

The Air Force in conjunction with the Department of Defense have requested that DOD inspector general conduct a "complete review of the Kelley case." 

Federal investigators will also review databases to make sure that records in other cases have been reported correctly.

In 2012, the Air Force convicted Kelley on two charges of assault, for fracturing his baby Stepson's skull and assaulting his first wife.

An Air Force spokesperson says Kelly was confined for a year, given a bad conduct discharge and reduced in rank to airman basic.

Kelley, 26, joined the Air Force after graduating from New Braunfels High School in 2009. He trained at Lackland and Goodfellow Air Force bases in Texas, before reporting to his assignment in logistics readiness at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.

 


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