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Tragic Shooting at Texas Church

By Lauren Byerly, Reporter

On November 5th Devin Patrick Kelly opened fire on a local church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas. He killed seventeen adults and eight children along with an unborn child carried by one of the women killed.  Among the adults killed was the assailant’s grandmother-in-law. 20 others were wounded.

PC: Nick Wagner
Investigators at the scene of the crime

The shooting occurred at the church pictured above, where the twenty-six year old shooter’s mother-in-law and her family regularly attended according to CNN. It has been theorized that he attacked this church because of a domestic situation. This theory is supported by violent texts he sent to his mother-in-law.

His past had more indicators of violence than just those texts. The New York Times reported that he had a history of domestic assault, in which he physically abused his ex-wife and fractured the skull of his stepson. Along with this, there were also accusations of sexual assault against him which are still under investigation. In total, local authorities were called to his house 17 times for separate instances including brush fires.  No one in the area assumed that he was capable of this level of violence, however.

While in the Air Force he was caught sneaking in weapons to carry out death threats against superior officers and sent to a mental institution, which he subsequently escaped from. According to the Washington Post, his issues in the Air Force should have prompted a record which would have prevented him from buying guns and popped up on background checks traditionally done during the job application process, but an error caused this to be omitted from records. Thus, he was able to buy the guns that he had: four in total, one purchased every year in succession.

On the day of this shooting he approached the church, firing at it from the front before entering and shooting people face-to-face. His style of shooting was described to be ‘execution style’ because he shot people directly in the head from a close range. He even shot at the already wounded who were lying on the floor of the church, or those who were cowering in an attempt to hide or beg for mercy. In the end he emptied 15 rounds of ammunition from a machine gun during the assault.

Devin Patrick Kelly

Eventually an armed bystander chased him away, shooting him twice before he got into his car and started to drive away. The bystander pursued with another man in a car. Kelly was found dead; he killed himself after the chase began.

There was a video taken of the shooting which has been turned in to the authorities, but they are not sure if they will release it to the public. If they do, it will be an interesting but morbid look into the events of this tragic day.

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Lauren Byerly, Reporter

Lauren Byerly is a Senior who has been a part of the International Baccalaureate Program since Freshman year. She has been involved with the Cross Country...

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Tragic Shooting at Texas Church