First Baptist Church Texas Shooting crime scene


Texas saw the worst mass shooting in state history on Sunday. Details surrounding the massacre trickled out slowly over the ensuing hours. Here's what we know so far.

THE GUNMAN: 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, wearing tactical gear and a ballistics vest, opened fire on churchgoers at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, at 11:30 a.m. local time. He unloaded 15 magazines and 450 rounds of ammo during his massacre and screamed, “Everybody dies, motherf**ker!” On Tuesday, Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said First Baptist Church's pastor knew of Kelley and didn't want him around his church. A family that encountered Kelley days before his rampage described him as “a guy that just seemed miserable in life,” “very angry,” and “very weird.”

HIS SORDID PAST: Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 and served a year in military prison for allegedly assaulting his stepson — cracking his skull — and ex-wife. He received a “bad conduct discharge” from the military. Additionally, authorities charged Kelley in August 2014 with neglect of cruelty to animals in his former residence of El Paso County, Colorado. This summer, Kelley was fired from his job as an unarmed security guard at Schlitterbahn Waterpark. In 2012, Kelley escaped from a New Mexico mental institution.

KELLY'S END: Kelley died after receiving three gunshot wounds, although it's unclear which caused his eventual death. Two of the gunshots — to his leg and torso — came from an armed citizen. The gunshot wound to his head was self-inflicted.

THE WEAPON: Despite his previous legal troubles and Texas denying him a gun license, Kelley was able to purchase a Ruger AR-556 assault rifle in April 2016. Federal law prohibited Kelley from purchasing his firearm, but Kelley was likely able to bypass that law because the Air Force neglected to tell the FBI about his criminal history. Investigators suspect Kelley used a semi-automatic weapon.

MOTIVE: According to an official on Monday, the shooting emanated from a domestic dispute involving the suspect's mother-in-law and was not racially or religiously motivated. Kelley reportedly sent his mother-in-law a threatening text message on the morning of the shooting.

THE HEROES: Stephen Willeford, a local man who was previously a National Rifle Association instructor, pursued Kelley, who fled after Willeford confronted him with a firearm. During Kelley's drive away from the church, Willeford notified a pickup truck driver, Johnnie Langendorff, who pursued Kelley until his vehicle crashed.

THE NUMBERS: At least 26 people lost their lives and another 30 were injured. They ranged in age from 18 months to 77 years old. One of the victims was an unborn child. Kelley's victims made up 4 percent of the local population, according to authorities. As of Tuesday, 10 victims remain in critical condition.

TOO MANY CHILDREN: About half — 12 to 14 — of the victims were children.

EIGHT MEMBERS OF ONE FAMILY: Authorities identified the victims, which included eight members — mostly from 10 to 36 years of age — of the Holcombe family.

KELLEY'S FAMILY: Tackitt revealed that Kelley's in-laws attended services at the First Baptist Church from “time to time.” Kelley killed Lula White, his grandmother-in-law, during the massacre.

TRUMP'S RESPONSE: During a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the president claimed that Kelley was a “very deranged individual” and claimed that this “wasn't a guns issue” but a “mental health problem.” Trump argued on Tuesday that stricter gun control wouldn't have stopped the shooting.

OBAMA'S RESPONSE: The former president tweeted, asking God for the “wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst.”

CONGRESS'S RESPONSE: While many Democratic lawmakers called for gun control after Sunday's shooting, others, like House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), offered prayers in the immediate aftermath. On Tuesday, Ryan suggested the solution after Texas was to simply enforce existing laws. Other leading Republicans announced legislation related to issues surrounding Kelley's access to a firearm. On Wednesday, 23 Senate Democrats introduced an assault weapons ban.

WHERE WE ARE NOW: Trump is in the midst of a 12-day tour of Asia, which means (televised) White House press briefings will be scarce. As a result, official comments from the White House may be somewhat delayed. Officials have not yet classified the investigation as a terrorist investigation and, according to one official, don't have a reason to do so. Investigators obtained Kelley's cellphone and sent it to Quantico after failing to access it.

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