Investigators are looking into the background of the gunman responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in the state’s history. Officials said the Air Force failed to submit alleged shooter’s criminal history to the FBI, as required by Pentagon rules.
CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports on the rampage that ended with 26 dead, along with the gunman, and at least 20 wounded.
Outside First Baptist Church, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation combed a field looking for evidence possibly connected to the shootings. The process of reconstructing Sunday’s events has just begun.
— Hendrik Sybrandy (@hsybrandy) November 6, 2017
Authorities said the suspect, identified as 26-year-old Devin Kelley, arrived at the church during Sunday services wearing tactical gear and carrying an assault rifle. Once he was inside the building, members of the congregation were defenseless. There was no way for them to escape. The suspect exited the church, exchanged gunshots with a local resident and then jumped in his vehicle and headed down the highway. A car gave chase, but Kelley didn’t make it very far.
Sutherland Springs shooting suspect – Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, of New Braunfels, TX – is pictured here in his driver license photo. pic.twitter.com/yDPKOfh2OM
— Texas DPS (@TxDPS) November 6, 2017
Shortly after the high-speed chase began, the suspect’s vehicle crashed into a ditch. Authorities believe he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Langendorff said he did what anyone in his position would have done.
Investigators said they’ve ruled out terrorism or any kind of racial or religious motivation for the attack. The suspect’s mother-in-law reportedly attended this church and that Kelley reportedly sent her threatening text messages. Investigators say the gunman displayed a pattern of domestic violence over a period of years. He was discharged from the U.S. Air Force for assaulting his wife and child.
Karen & I will travel to #SutherlandSprings on Wednesday to meet w/families of the fallen, injured & law enforcement. We are with you Texas
— Vice President Pence (@VP) November 6, 2017
Among the 26 victims at the church was Annabelle Pomeroy, the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, plan to travel to Texas Wednesday to meet with those affected by the shooting.