Gunman identified in Texas church shooting that killed 26

People attend a vigil near where a mass shooting took place at the First Baptist Church in Texas on Sunday. Photo by Larry W. Smith/EPA
By Sara Shayanian  |  Nov. 6, 2017
Authorities said the gunman used a Ruger AR-556 assault-style rifle in the attack.

Nov. 6 (UPI) — Authorities have identified the shooter in Sunday’s Texas church shooting that killed more than two dozen people and injured several more.

The gunman was identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, a former U.S. Air Force airman who officials said began having legal trouble in 2012 after being court-martialed and sentenced to military prison for assaulting his wife and child.

His wife filed for divorce in that same year and Kelley was released from the military with a bad conduct discharge in 2014. Later, Kelley was charged with a misdemeanor count of mistreatment, neglect or cruelty to animals in Colorado.

Authorities said the former airman walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Sunday morning during services and began shooting. Twenty-six people were killed and 20 were injured, police said.

Officials said as Kelley, 26, tried to leave, a witness attempted to grab his rifle — a Ruger AR-556 assault-style rifle.

Another bystander tried shooting at him before Kelley fled in his vehicle, officials said. The two men followed the suspect on the highway until police arrived.

Officials said Kelley died, but it wasn’t immediately known how.

“I never in a million years could have believed Devin could be capable of this kind of thing,” Dave Ivey, Kelley’s uncle, said. “My family will suffer because of his coward actions.”

Neighbors of the Kelley family claimed to hear gunfire at night, yet some still said it was “shocking” to hear of the shooting.

“You never think your neighbor is capable of something like that,” a neighbor of Kelley’s said.

“If he did that, that kind of worries you, thinking we’ve been living next door to the guy.”

President Donald Trump, who is on a 12-day trip to Asia, spoke from Japan about the shooting in a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“I think that mental health is a problem here. Based on preliminary reports, this was a very deranged individual with a lot of problems over a very long period of time,” Trump said.

The president also said gun ownership was not a factor the attack.

“We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries, but this isn’t a guns situation … we could go into it but it’s a little bit soon to go into it,” Trump said. “Fortunately somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction, otherwise, it wouldn’t have been as bad as it was, it would have been much worse.”