Air Force Family Took Heavy Losses in Texas Shooting

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein brief the media at the Pentagon on Nov. 9, 2017. Staff photo by Wilson Brissett.

Twelve of the 26 victims who died in the Sutherland Springs, Texas, shooting on Nov. 5 were “directly connected to the Air Force, either members or through family ties,” Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told reporters at a Pentagon briefing on Nov. 9.

“We’re ensuring that all our resources are being made available to families, to include use of San Antonio Military Medical Center,” which has “already treated eight victims of the shooting,” he said.

The shooter, Devin Kelley, also served in the Air Force and was given a bad conduct discharge after being convicted of assault against his wife and stepson by a general court-martial. The conviction should have kept Kelley from being able to purchase a gun, but the Air Force failed to enter his conviction into the National Criminal Information Center database.

The conviction “should have been reported,” Wilson told reporters at the same briefing. She said the service’s ongoing investigation of its reporting policies and practices has led the Air Force Inspector General to interview about 100 people. The service is also reviewing discharge records as far back as 1996, Wilson said, and “if we have problems that we find, we will fix them.”

She expects to have a “draft report” from the initial investigation by Nov. 17.