Texas Mass Shooter Reportedly ID'd as Former Air Force Member Once Accused of Assaulting Spouse
The shooter who opened fire on a Sunday worship service in a Texas church, killing at least 26 people, has been identified as 26-year-old Devin Kelley
The shooter who opened fire on a Sunday morning worship service in a Texas church, killing at least 26 people and injuring at least 20 more, has been identified as 26-year-old Devin Kelley, according to multiple news reports.
Kelley’s name was confirmed by unidentified officials speaking to the Associated Press, CNN and the Washington Post. (PEOPLE’s requests for comment from Texas law enforcement were not immediately returned.)
An Air Force spokeswoman tells PEOPLE that Kelley served at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, working in logistics readiness. He was stationed there from 2010 until he was discharged in 2014, following a 2012 court-martial on accusations he assaulted his spouse and their child, the spokeswoman says.
Kelley received a bad conduct discharge and 12 months’ confinement as well as a reduction in rank, the spokeswoman says.
The Post reports that Kelley lived in a county near the site of his rampage.
A motive in the shooting has not been confirmed. Wilson County, Texas, Sheriff Joe Tackitt told CNN that authorities do not believe the shooter had any previous connection to the church and that he was “not from this immediate area.”
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Authorities have previously said the gunman was dressed in all-black tactical gear and a ballistics vest when he began firing outside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs around 11:30 a.m. local time on Sunday.
He then entered the church and continued to shoot his weapon, according to Freeman Martin, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, who spoke alongside other officials at a Sunday news conference.
No victims’ names have been confirmed or released as investigators continue to work the crime scene. Children were among the victims, who ranged in ages from 5 to 72, authorities said.
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When the suspect exited the church, a local resident engaged him in gunfire, Martin said. The suspect dropped his weapon and fled, with the local resident in pursuit.
A brief chase ensued into neighboring Guadalupe County, Texas, where the shooter was later found dead in his vehicle. It is unclear if he was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound or a gunshot wound he received while exchanging fire with the resident, Martin said.
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Ernest Hajek, a Wilson County commissioner, told PEOPLE that he knew several members of the congregation.
“This is just a small, rural farming community,” he said. “It isn’t really a town — a small church with 40 or 50 congregants at each service. It doesn’t make any sense. We are trying to find out the motive and it could take some time.”
Hajek said that he visited the crime scene and saw several bullet holes in the windows and walls of the church.
Noting that he was formerly an investigator for the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office in San Antonio, Texas, Hajek told PEOPLE, “This is the worst mass shooting I have seen. I have seen other mass shootings but nothing like this.”