The Texas mass shooting on November 5 last year could have been prevented by the Air Force.
According to a report released by the inspector general of the Department of Defense on Friday, Devin Patrick Kelley, the gunman involved in the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, could have been prevented from buying guns, if the Air Force had passed the critical information about Kelley.
Kelley, a former US airman, killed 26 people and injured 20 others in the shooting. He later died of a self-inflicted shot to the head.
Kelly joined the Air Force in 2010. While he served in the Air Force, he was convicted by a general court-martial on charges of domestic violence against his then-wife and steps on.
Kelly married Tessa Kelley in 2011. He became excessively abusive and violent with Tessa. She told investigators that Kelly used to kick her in the stomach,strangle her, drag her by her hair and also, tried to “water-board” her by sticking her head under the shower on several occasions. Tessa’s minor son was hospitalized more than once due to Kelly’s wrath. Tessa reported him to the officials.
In November 2012, Kelly pleaded guilty in general court-martial proceedings. He was released in 2014 after a reduction in rank, confinement for 12 months and a bad conduct discharge.
As per the federal law, convicted domestic abusers cannot buy or possess firearms. Despite the law, which should have prevented Kelly from buying the weapons, he legally bought them.
If Kelly’s information would have been passed by the Air Force, he would have been banned from purchasing the weapons.
The Air Force admitted to not having submitted Kelly’s criminal history data to the FBI database, which is used to check if a person is eligible to purchase a gun legally, called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The Air Force also failed to submit complete reports inclusive of Kelly’s finger prints to the FBI – twice.
After Kelly left the Air Force, he married Danielle Kelley. It has been anticipated that Kelley was targeting the church, where Danielle’s mother worshipped.
Danielle’s mother had also reported that Kelley was abusive towards her daughter and threatened her over texts. On the day of shooting, Kelley tied Danielle to the bed and left. Kelley’s mother-in-law wasn’t present at the church. However,Danielle’s grandmother became a victim in the Texas mass shooting.
Kelly is one of the many mass shooters in the US with a history of domestic violence.