Officials Say Gunman in Church Shooting Had Domestic Situation With Family

State & Regional

Officials have identified the gunman in the Sutherland Springs church shooting as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley of New Braunfels. They confirmed 26 people, with the youngest victim at 18-months old, were killed in Sunday’s shooting at First Baptist Church. Among the deceased, the oldest is 77-years-old.

Frank Pomeroy, who is the pastor of First Baptist Church, and his wife Sherri, addressed reporters for the first time Monday morning. Their daughter, 14-year-old Annabelle, also died in the shooting.

“We lost more than Belle yesterday,” Sherri said. “And the one thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is the fact that Belle was surrounded by her church family she loved fiercely.”

Autopsy results released late evening show Kelley suffered three gunshot wounds. Authorities earlier in the day said Kelley had left the scene of the church after the shooting, when two good Samaritans chased after him.

“We know during that pursuit, the suspect used his cell phone to notify his father that he had been shot and didn’t think he was going to make it,” Texas DPS regional director Freeman Martin said.

Investigators said their goal was to finish collecting all evidence before Tuesday morning. They said so far, they’ve collected more than 15 empty magazines and processed Kelley’s car.

Officials confirmed Kelley did not have a license to carry, but did have a non-commissioned unarmed private security license, similar to a security guard at a concert.

The FBI said it’s working with the U.S. Air Force to learn more about Kelley’s criminal background in the military. The Air Force admitted in a released statement it never entered Kelley’s convictions into the federal database, as required by the Pentagon. Kelley had purchased four weapons in total — two in Colorado and two in Texas. One was purchased every year from 2014 to 2017.

Martin said Kelley did have a domestic situation with his family. His mother-in-law, who attended First Baptist Church, had received threatening text messages from him.

People from Sutherland Springs and surrounding communities stopped by throughout the day to pay their respects and honor the victims. Wilson County District Attorney Audrey Louis said the biggest things needed right now are prayers for the town and monetary donations for victims and their families.

“We’ve had a tremendous outpouring across the country, for people wanting to assist families in need,” she said.

The Sutherland Springs Community Association posted on Facebook it had opened up an account at The Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union where monetary donations can be made.

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