The Air Force is conducting a comprehensive review to see if other criminal records were appropriately reported after initial information suggests the Texas church shooter's domestic violence offense was not entered into the National Criminal Information Center database by the Holloman Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations. Air Force photo by A1C Grace Lee.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein have launched “a complete review” of how the service handled criminal records of former airman Devin Patrick Kelley, who is accused of killing 26 people and wounding at least 20 others at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday.
Kelley enlisted in the Air Force in 2010 and worked in logistics readiness at Holloman AFB, N.M. In 2012, he was convicted by a general court-martial on two charges of domestic assault against his wife and stepson. He served a year in confinement at Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in California before being released from the service in 2014 as an E-1 with a bad conduct discharge, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.
“Federal law prohibited him from buying or possessing firearms after this conviction,” said Stefanek. However, “initial information indicates that Kelley’s domestic violence offense was not entered into the National Criminal Information Center database by the Holloman Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations.”
The Air Force Inspector General will review USAF’s databases to ensure records in other cases were reported correctly, said Stefanek. The DOD Inspector General also will conduct a similar review in concert with the Air Force and will “review relevant policies and procedures to ensure records from other cases across DOD have been reported correctly,” according to a Pentagon statement.
On Sunday morning, Kelley opened fire just outside the church with a Ruger AR-556 rifle. He continued firing while he entered the church in the midst of an ongoing worship service. After killing and wounding nearly 50 churchgoers, Kelley drove away in his SUV.
He was pursued by two bystanders, who also exchanged fire with Kelley, until his car crashed. He was found dead in his vehicle, but Texas officials have yet to announce the cause of death pending an autopsy.
Before the attack, Kelley had sent “threatening text messages” to his mother-in-law, who sometimes attends the church, said Freeman Martin, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety, Reuters reported. The local sheriff’s office said that none of the family members were present during the attack.