- The gunman behind the mass shooting at a Texas church had a lengthy rap sheet and a history of abuse and harassment.
- He was discharged from the Air Force after fracturing his infant stepson’s skull and assaulting his wife.
- He also was arrested for animal cruelty and is said to have stalked his ex-girlfriends, at least of whom was a minor when they dated.
A day after at least 26 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Texas church, disturbing details about the gunman’s past continue to emerge.
Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, was found dead in his car miles from the scene of the shooting. The official cause of death has not been released, although investigators believe he committed suicide.
Kelley had a lengthy rap sheet. He once fractured his infant stepson’s skull, was arrested for animal cruelty, and had a history of harassing ex-girlfriends, NBC News reported.
The former Air Force member was court-martialed in 2012 on two charges of assault at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, according to the report. A source from the Air Force said Kelley was convicted of fracturing his infant stepson’s skull and assaulting his first wife. He was given a bad conduct discharge in 2014, according to the report.
The report also cited two of Kelley’s ex-girlfriends who said Kelley harassed and stalked them after they broke up.
“Years after dating me he would try to bribe me to hang out with him,” Kelley’s former girlfriend Katy Landry told NBC News. “He ended up assaulting me. He would stalk me by repeatedly calling me — even prank calling me, saying really weird stuff.”
“That was another thing about him — he was very sick in the head … He would tell me very sick strange things,” she said, without elaborating.
Another former girlfriend of Kelley’s, who dated him when she was 13 and he was 18, detailed Kelley’s disturbing behaviour after they broke up.
“He somehow would always find out my number although none of my friends talked to him and he would constantly call me until I blocked his number,” Brittany Adcock told NBC News. “Then I’d get calls from an unknown number so I’ve had to change my number quite a bit.
“He would offer me money to hang out with him quite a bit. There has been one point that I called the police because he was just calling me so much I wanted to report harassment.”
Adcock continued: “One time he told me I should move in with him and his wife and that he would take care of me as long as I walked around topless. Not long after, his wife messaged me and asked why I’m talking to her husband and I told her what he was saying and sent her screenshots and she then apologised and then I was blocked from speaking to her.”
Officials investigating Sunday’s shooting said that Kelley’s mother-in-law, Michelle Shields, had previously attended First Baptist Church, but was not present during the attack. San Antonio-based FBI agent Christopher Combs said Kelley had sent Shields threatening text messages.
“There was a domestic situation going on within the family and the in-laws,” Freeman Martin, a regional director with the Texas Department of Public Safety, said on Monday.
Police records revealed yet another run-in with the law in 2014, when Kelley was arrested in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on an animal cruelty charge. A report of the incident cited a witness who said Kelley chased a dog at a trailer park, “then started beating on the dog with both fists, punching it in the head and chest,” according to NBC.
“He could hear the suspect yelling at the dog and while he was striking it, the dog was yelping and whining,” the witness said in the report. “The suspect then picked up the dog by the neck into the air and threw it onto the ground and then drug him away to lot 60.”
The NBC News report follows comments from former classmates and friends of Kelley who described him as “crazy,” “weird,” and “different.”
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