The U.S. Air Force reportedly failed to disclose the Texas church shooter’s criminal history to the FBI, which is a direct violation of Pentagon rules:
BREAKING: Officials: Air Force didn't submit Texas church shooter's criminal history to FBI, as required by Pentagon rules.
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 6, 2017
“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 of Special Investigation,” the Air Force said in a statement.
The statement added, “Federal law prohibited him from buying or possessing firearms after this conviction.”
The deceased gunman, identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, was court-martialed for assault prior to his discharge for misconduct in 2014, the Associated Press reported:
While in the military, Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his 2014 discharge, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.
He was discharged for the assault involving his previous wife and had served a year of confinement after a 2012 court-martial.
The stunning oversight led to the conclusion that it likely allowed Kelley to purchase several firearms, as he should have been prohibited from buying a gun following his conviction:
BREAKING NEWS: @CNN reports U.S. Air Force says Texas shooter's domestic violence conviction was not entered into national database that is controlled by @FBI thereby permitting him to obtain weapons.
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) November 6, 2017
Police say Kelley entered a church in the small town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, with an assault fire late Sunday morning and opened fire on churchgoers, killing 26 people, including young children. The victims ranged from 18 months to 77 years old, according to the AP.
Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. told the media there was likely “no way” for congregants to escape once the gunman started shooting. The massacre was initially stopped when an armed resident grabbed his rifle and engaged the shooter.
After the gunman drove away, the Good Samaritan then proceeded to pursue the shooter in another resident's truck in a high-speed chase that reached upward of 90 miles per hour. The shooter ultimately crashed his car and police found him dead in his vehicle.