As the authorities piece together why Devin Patrick Kelley would allegedly open fire on churchgoers in Sutherland Springs, new details reveal a Air force court-martial sent him to jail for domestic violence!
Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, the alleged Sutherland Springs shooter, was a former member of the U.S. Air Force, according to the Washington Post. He served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 to 2014. He was charged with moving passengers, cargo and personal property in military transportation, but Devin was far from an ideal airman. He faced a court-martial in 2012, and was sentenced to a year in military prison for assaulting his spouse and child. Two years later, in 2014, he would receive a reduction in rank as well as a bad-conduct discharge.
That wasn’t Devin’s only legal trouble. In Aug. 2014, he was charged with a misdemeanor count of mistreatment, neglect or cruelty to animals in El Paso County, Colorado (where he lived at one point, according to the Washington Post.) The case was ultimately dismissed. As for Devin and his then-wife? Court records in Alamogordo, New Mexico (near Holloman Air Force Base) show that in Oct. 2012, Tessa K. Kelley filed for divorce against one Devin P. Kelley.
The case seems to have settled in a matter of days, with a settlement recorded the same day as the initial filing. Oddly enough, there are no children listed in the divorce proceedings. At the time of the horrific massacre, neighbors told the local media that Devin lived in a barn in the back of his parent’s home on a secluded 28-acres of farmland north of Sutherland Springs. Devin reportedly was living there with his current wife and 2-year-old son.
Authorities are still searching for some reason as to why Devin would go on a rampage inside the First Baptist Church on Nov. 5. He reportedly opened fire with a Ruger assault-style rifle, leaving 26 dead and scores injured. Devin’s in-laws had attended the church at some point, Wilson County sheriff Joe D. Tackitt, Jr., said, noting that the in-laws were not attending the service when Devin attacked. “There must have been some reason he came here,” the sheriff added, “but we don’t know.” Other reports claim that Devin’s “ex-wife and former in-laws” sometimes frequently attended this church, per ABC News, leading some to suspect he was on the rocks with Dannielle, his current wife (and one-time teacher at the church).
Witnesses say Devin, dressed in all black, began firing as he approached the church. After spraying bullets at the congregation, Devin reportedly got into a firefight with an armed civilian before driving away in his SUV. The unnamed hero recruited a nearby driver named Johnnie Langendorff to go on a high-speed chase as the followed Devin. Ultimately, the alleged shooter died from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Our thoughts continue to go out to those affected by this horrible tragedy.