Four years after Texas’ deadliest mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, families still fighting for relief in court

Trial to determine how much Air Force should pay Sutherland Springs families continues next week

Miguel Zamora stands a cross for the victims of the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church shooting at a makeshift memorial, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A man opened fire inside the church in the small South Texas community on Sunday, killing more than two dozen. Zamora carried the cross for three days to reach the site. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Four years ago, Texas suffered the deadliest mass shooting in the state’s history.

On Nov. 5, 2017, Devin Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church, opening fire on the churchgoers during their Sunday service. Kelley fired roughly 450 rounds, killing 26 people and injuring dozens more before taking his own life. The victims ranged in age, from a baby who died in the womb to a 77-year-old man.

Four years later, the families continue to fight for relief in federal court.

Kelley, who served nearly five years in the Air Force before he was discharged in 2014 after a family violence conviction, should not have been allowed to purchase firearms. But the Air Force failed to put his information into the FBI database, which allowed Kelley to skirt background checks.

In July, U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez determined that the Air Force was mostly responsible for the massacre that occurred at Kelley’s hands.

“The trial conclusively established that no other individual — not even Kelley’s own parents or partners — knew as much as the United States about the violence that Devin Kelley had threatened to commit and was capable of committing,” Rodriguez wrote in his ruling.

Now, a trial to determine how much the Air Force should pay the families is underway, with the families concluding their case on Thursday. Attorneys representing the Air Force will begin its case on Monday, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

The small town of Sutherland Springs has spent years attempting to move forward, rebuilding the First Baptist Church.

The names of each victim in the shooting is listed below:

  • Robert Scott Marshall, 56
  • Karen Sue Marshall, 56
  • Keith Allen Braden, 62
  • Tara E. McNulty, 33
  • Annabelle Renae Pomeroy, 14
  • Peggy Lynn Warde, 56
  • Dennis Neil Johnson Sr., 77
  • Sara Johns Johnson, 68
  • Lula Woicinski White, 71
  • Joann Lookingbill Ward, 30
  • Brooke Bryanne Ward, 5
  • Robert Michael Corrigan, 51
  • Shani Louise Corrigan, 51
  • Therese Sagan Rodriguez, 66
  • Ricardo Cardona Rodriguez, 64
  • Haley Krueger, 16
  • Emily Garcia, 7
  • Emily Rose Hill, 11
  • Gregory Lynn Hill, 13
  • Megan Gail Hill, 9
  • Marc Daniel Holcombe, 36
  • Noah Holcombe, 1
  • Karla Plain Holcombe, 58
  • John Bryan Holcombe, 60
  • Crystal Marie Holcombe, 36
  • Unborn child of Crystal Marie Holcombe

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About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.