Church Members Mourn San Antonio Shooting that Killed 27
On Sunday morning, Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas killing 26 people. The deceased within the church ranged from ages 18 months to 77 years old. Following the attack, Kelley engaged in a firefight and reportedly ended his life by a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a high speed car chase.
Kelley used an AR-15 in the shooting. Sources report that Kelley did not possess a license to carry a gun, that he only had a “private security license” similar to that of a security guard at a concert. President Trump addressed the issue on Monday, detailing that the shooting was not necessarily indicative of an issue with gun control, but exemplified a “mental health problem at the highest level.”
Kelley’s motive is said to have derived from a domestic dispute and is not thought to be racially or religiously motivated. Kelley’s mother-in-law attended the First Baptist Church, but it is not yet understood whether or not she was one of the primary targets. Investigators are reluctant to release further information regarding the domestic dispute and its influence on the shooting, but he did engage in threatening texts before the shooting, as well as contacting his father sometime after the shooting and during the car chase, stating that he “wasn’t going to make it.”
Kelley was an ex-Air Force member, having served at a New Mexico base. He was later court-martialed in 2012 on an account of assaulting his wife and later dishonorably discharged in 2014.
Sutherland Springs is a small town with a population size just above 600 people. The head Pastor and his wife were out of town traveling while the shooting occurred, but their young daughter was a victim at the church. The shooting is the fifth deadliest mass shooting in American history, occurring just a month after the Las Vegas shooting.
A vigil for the deceased was held for members of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Stephen Willeford reunited with Johnnie Langendorff, the two men who helped chase down Kelley to his death which kept more lives out of harm’s way. The members joined to raise lit candles, sing hymns and pray for the 27 victims and 20 survivors.