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Domestic abuse shelter explains how impact can go beyond single relationship

SAN ANTONIO – As investigators search for what motivated Devin Patrick Kelley to gun down a congregation Sunday, they're pointing to domestic problems.

On Monday it was revealed that Kelley, 26, sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, who attended the church.

26 killed, 20 wounded in mass shooting; Gunman dead

He was also court martialed in 2012 for assaulting his then-spouse and a child.

The president and CEO of the Battered Women and Children's Shelter said, among many things, what played out shows how domestic violence goes far beyond one relationship.

"The way that it was carried out, everybody was corralled with nowhere to go,” Marta Pelaez said noting, “the level of anger, the preparation."

Help for domestic violence victims

Pelaez said the unthinkable tragedy highlights the misconception that domestic violence is a problem that exists only between two people.

“Here we are, we're talking about it. We are deeply impacted. I can tell you I am. My staff is. The community of San Antonio is. The community where this happened is deeply impacted,” she said.
At least 26 people were gunned down by one man, in one morning, in one small town.

In all of last year, 146 people died because of domestic violence across Texas. The majority of victims of domestic violence, Pelaez said, are children.

“How many children are orphaned today?” she asked.

Authorities are still investigating the threats Kelley made to his mother-in-law.

Meanwhile, Pelaez has a message to anyone questioning their own relationship.

“If part of the emotional component is fear, you need to question. You need to act on it,” she said.

The shelter can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 210-733-8810.


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