SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas – Devin Patrick Kelley, the gunman who shot and killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was convicted on domestic-violence charges in connection with a series of incidents that included fracturing his stepson’s skull and choking and pointing a gun at his then-wife.
According to documents provided by the U.S. Air Force, Kelley — who served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until 2014 — accepted a plea deal that kept him from spending the five years in a military prison he faced.
Instead, Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 for two counts under Article 128 UCMJ, assault on his spouse and assault on their child. He received a bad conduct discharge, confinement for 12 months and a reduction to the grade of E-1.
Federal law prohibited him from buying or possessing firearms after this conviction.
However, initial information indicates that Kelley’s domestic violence offense was not entered into the National Criminal Information Center database by the Holloman Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations, an Air Force spokesman said in a statement Monday, and the Air Force has launched a review of how the information was handled.
Kelley twice passed a background check when purchasing firearms at San Antonio-area Academy Sports + Outdoors stores, a spokeswoman for the company confirmed Monday. He also legally purchased two firearms in 2014 and 2015 in Colorado.
Investigators confirmed Monday morning that they recovered a Ruger assault-type rifle at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and two handguns in Kelley's sport utility vehicle.
All three firearms were purchased by Kelley, according to ATF Agent Fred Milanowski, special agent in charge of the Houston field office.