Texas Church Shooting: More Than Two Dozen Parishioners Killed

Posted by DanielS on Monday, 06 November 2017 09:37.

Devin Patrick Kelley

NBC, “Texas Church Shooting: More Than Two Dozen Parishioners Killed”, 6 Nov 2017:

An armor-clad gunman opened fire inside a rural Texas church on Sunday, killing more than two dozen people in the largest mass shooting in the state’s history, officials said.

Twenty-six people were killed during the shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said. He told TODAY Monday morning that there was “information surfacing” about why that particular location was chosen.

“That information may be coming out today or tomorrow, in the coming days, but I don’t think this was a random act of shooting,” Abbott said.

The massacre in Sutherland Springs, which is located 30 miles east of San Antonio, was the deadliest ever at a house of worship in the United States. In addition to the dead, at least 19 people were hospitalized, according to three area hospitals.

The shooter was later found dead, officials said. Law enforcement officials identified him as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, of neighboring Comal County.

Kelley was a former member of the Air Force, discharged for bad conduct in 2014. Ann Stefanek, a spokeswoman for the Air Force, confirmed that Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 on two charges of assaulting his spouse and their child. He was confined for a year and reduced in rank to airman basic E-1 before his discharge, she said.

Abbott called Kelley “very deranged.”

“He seemed to have a troubled past even before he enlisted,” Abbott said on TODAY.

Federal officials said the motive for the shooting was unclear. According to Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackett, Kelley’s in-laws attended the church, although they weren’t there at the time. The in-laws were speaking with investigators, Tackett said.

Devin P. Kelley while a freshman at New Braunfels High School in New Braunfels, Texas, in 2006. Poppel Yearbook Library

Dressed all in black and wearing tactical gear and a ballistic vest, Kelley first began firing outside the church at around 11:20 a.m. local time (12:20 p.m. ET) before he continued his shooting spree inside, said Freeman Martin, a regional director with the Texas Department of Public Safety. He was armed with a “Ruger AR assault-type rifle,” Martin said.

A local resident confronted the gunman after the shooting began, “grabbed his rifle and engaged that suspect,” according to Martin.

The gunman dropped the rifle and then fled with the resident, identified as Johnnie Langendorff, in pursuit.

“They said there was a shooting. I pursued and I just did what I thought was the right thing,” Langendorff said.

As law enforcement responded, the suspect ran off the road in his car at the Wilson-Guadalupe county line and crashed, while exchanging shots with Langendorff, Martin said. The suspect was found dead in the vehicle.

It wasn’t clear whether Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot or of a shot fired by Langendorff, officials said.



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