Long before Devin Kelley slaughtered 26 people in a Texas church, the Sutherland Springs shooter threatened to make his first wife his first victim. This abusive husband even held a loaded gun against her head!
“He just had a lot of demons or hatred inside of him,” Tessa Brennaman, 25, said when speaking about her former husband, Devin Patrick Kelley, 26. The ex-wife of the Sutherland Springs shooter opened up to Inside Edition on Nov. 10, giving her first interview following the horrible tragedy, according to CBS News. Tessa revealed that during her marriage with Devin, he would constantly hit, choke and kick her. She said Devin even threatened to shoot her over a speeding ticket!
“And he had a gun in his holster right here and he took that gun out, and he put it to my template and he told me, ‘Do you want to die? Do you want to die?’” Tessa told Inside Edition, adding that Devin also threatened to kill her whole family. It should be no surprised that Tessa said she constantly lived in fear of her then-husband. His violent behavior would ultimately land him behind bars. Devin, who was serving in the Air Force while married to Tessa, was court-martialed in 2012 (the same year Tessa and Devin filed for divorce, per the Albuquerque Journal.) He sentenced to a year in military prison for assaulting his then-wife and her child.
As for how Devin, a man who served time for domestic abuse, was able to own the guns that carried out the deadly attack? The Air Force acknowledged that it failed to notify the FBI about the conviction. Had they did, he would have been prevented from buying the guns used in the massacre, and 26 people – many of which were children – would be alive.
Investigators have said that this shooting seems to be related to a domestic abuse between Devin and the mother of his second wife. Devin had sent threatening messages to his mother-in-law. She was known to attend the First Baptist Church, but wasn’t in attendance when Devin began firing. He would die from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, after engaging in a gunfight with a local (who recruited a passing motorist to help chase Devin down.)
Authorities announced that the church will be demolished, but before it’s taken down, it will serve as a memorial for the victims. The building will be scrubbed down, whitewashed, and chairs will be placed inside – one to commemorate each of the victims killed in this massacre.
Our thoughts are with those who are morning this horrible tragedy.