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Sutherland Springs, TX Church Shooting

Wikipedia actually does a pretty good job on covering most of the facts, but of course, adds a special section at the bottom titled ‘Hoaxes and Conspiracy Theories’ (covered later):

On November 5, 2017, a mass shooting occurred at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of the city of San Antonio. The gunman, 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley of nearby New Braunfels, killed 26 and injured 20 others. He was shot twice by a male civilian as he exited the church. Fleeing in his SUV, Kelley crashed after a high-speed chase and was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds, including a self-inflicted head shot.

This was the deadliest mass shooting by an individual in Texas, the fifth-deadliest mass shooting in the United States, as well as the deadliest shooting in an American place of worship in modern history, surpassing the Charleston church shooting of 2015 and the Waddell, Arizona Buddhist temple shooting of 1991.

Kelley was prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition due to a domestic violence conviction in a court-martial while in the United States Air Force. The Air Force failed to record the conviction in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Crime Information Center database, which is used by the National Instant Check System to flag prohibited purchases. The error prompted the Air Force to begin a review.

The Miami Herald reported:

Authorities have released an official list of those killed in the shooting rampage at a Texas church. Eight male victims and 17 female victims ranging in age from 1 to 77 are on the Texas Department of Public Safety list released Wednesday. The list also includes the unborn baby of Crystal Holcombe, identified on the list as Carlin Brite “Billy Bob” Holcombe, age 0 and gender unknown.

Eight of the victims slain Sunday at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs were children and teenagers ranging in age from 1 to 16 years old.

Authorities said one of the children died at a San Antonio-area hospital. The remaining victims all died at the scene.

The Miami Herald gives some background on the shooter’s shady past:

“In fall 2006, Devin Patrick Kelley’s sophomore year, he was suspended then sent to an alternative school for two months after a drug-related incident. New Braunfels school district records didn’t go into any detail about that or other run-ins he had.

He was suspended twice as a junior and three times as a senior for reasons including “insubordination,” ”profane language/gestures” and “dishonest/false records.

The records also listed ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as one of his medical conditions.”

Wikipedia continues:

…A close friend from middle school through high school recalled “he wasn’t always a ‘psychopath’ though” and that “over the years we all saw him change into something that he wasn’t”.

After graduating (from New Braunfels High), Kelley enlisted in the United States Air Force. He served in logistics readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2009 until 2014. He married in April 2011. In October 2012, he was charged with assaulting his wife and fracturing his toddler stepson’s skull. In response, Kelley made death threats against the superior officers who charged him, and he was caught sneaking firearms onto Holloman Air Force Base. Around that same time, he made threats of self-harm to a coworker. He was then admitted to Peak Behavioral Health Services, a mental health facility in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.

Kelley and his wife divorced in October 2012. In an interview with Inside Edition, his ex-wife said she lived in constant fear of him, as their marriage was filled with abuse. He once threatened her at gunpoint over a speeding ticket, and later threatened to kill her and her entire family.

Kelley was brought before a general court-martial on four charges: assault on his wife, aggravated assault on his stepson, two charges of pointing a loaded gun at his wife, and two counts of threatening his wife with an unloaded gun. In November 2012, Kelley pleaded guilty to two counts of Article 128 UCMJ, for the assault of his wife and stepson. In return, the weapons charges were dropped. He was sentenced to 12 months of confinement and a reduction in rank to Airman Basic. He appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, but was unsuccessful. In 2014, he was dismissed from the Air Force with a bad conduct discharge.

After his release, Kelley returned to New Braunfels, where he lived in a converted barn at his parents’ home. Shortly thereafter, he was investigated for sexual assault and rape, and for a physical assault of his then-girlfriend, although these investigations did not lead to charges. On April 4, 2014, he married his then-girlfriend. The couple moved into a mobile home in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he was charged in August 2014 for misdemeanor cruelty to animals after beating his malnourished husky. He was given a deferred sentence of probation and was ordered to pay restitution and other fees; the charge was dismissed in March 2016, after he completed the sentence. In January 2015, a resident of El Paso County, Colorado received a protection order against him.

Kelley attended the First Baptist Church in Kingsville, Texas, from May to June 2014 and volunteered as a helper for one day of Vacation Bible School. Later on, he stopped volunteering at the summer Bible class and began posting about atheism online. According to some of his former high school classmates, he was constantly “trying to preach his atheism” and describing people who believe in God as “stupid”, causing them to delete him as a friend on Facebook for his posts.

At the time of the shooting, Kelley was again living at his parents’ property in New Braunfels. He was licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety as a security guard, and was a security worker at the Summit Vacation and RV Resort in New Braunfels. He had previously worked as an unarmed security guard at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort in New Braunfels, but was fired after less than six weeks on the job. While he was working at Schlitterbahn, a family who encountered him commented on how “creepy” Kelley had seemed; one member described, “He seemed angry. He seemed annoyed by us, and he seemed like he wanted to exert some authority.”

On the night of October 31, less than a week before the shooting, Kelley attended a festival at the First Baptist Church wearing all black. According to two parishioners who were at the festival, he acted so strangely that people had to keep an eye on him. One also examined him to make sure he was not carrying a firearm. According to a former Air Force colleague who temporarily got reacquainted with him online, Kelley claimed he would buy dogs and other animals and use them for “target practice”. He also expressed his obsession with mass murders, particularly the Charleston church shooting, and joked about committing one himself. These comments prompted her to block him on Facebook.

Kelley’s estranged second wife sometimes attended First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs with her family. Prior to the shooting, he sent threatening text messages to her mother. His wife and her mother were not at the church when the attack occurred, but he killed his wife’s grandmother at the church.

Leftists, leftist organizations, celebrities, and mainstream media (NBC) immediately began the anti-gun / gun-control banter even though the shooter was kept from any attempt at another massacre that may have occurred at another nearby church in the direction he was headed, by a gun owner who shot the shooter twice, slowing him and eventually leading to his death. In addition, the shooter should have never been able to obtain guns had it not been for the negligence of the military in not registering to be flagged for any purchases as he should have been.

Gun purchases

Kelley purchased four guns at stores in Colorado and Texas between 2014 and 2017. On October 29, a week before the shooting, he posted a photo of what appeared to be an AR-556 rifle on his Facebook profile. An AR-556 rifle was used in the attack, and two handguns were found in Kelley’s vehicle.

Kelley purchased the semi-automatic rifle used in the shooting from an Academy Sports + Outdoors store in San Antonio in April 2016. He filled out the required ATF Form 4473 and falsely indicated that he did not have a disqualifying criminal history. In Texas, an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check is required at the time of purchase for all firearms except for purchasers with a valid license to carry a handgun.

The State of Texas denied his application for a license to carry a handgun in public, although a license is not required to purchase firearms under Texas state law.

Kelley’s general court-martial guilty plea made it illegal for him to own, buy, or possess a firearm. The conviction should have been flagged by NICS and prevented a purchase. Federal law prohibits those convicted of domestic violence–even if it is only a misdemeanor–from possessing firearms. Additionally, federal law does not allow a person discharged “under dishonorable conditions” to buy or possess a firearm. According to the federal form required to record firearms transactions, a discharge “under dishonorable conditions” not only refers to a dishonorable discharge, but also a bad conduct discharge “adjudged by a general court-martial.”

The Air Force failed to relay the court-martial convictions to the FBI, saying in a statement, “Initial information indicates that Kelley’s domestic violence offense was not entered into the National Crime Information Center database by the Holloman Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations.” One day after the shooting, the Air Force said it had “launched a review of how the service handled the criminal records of former Airman Devin P. Kelley following his 2012 domestic violence conviction.” Three days after the shooting, Vice President Mike Pence visited the crime scene, and said, “We will find why this information was not properly recorded in 2012, and we will work with leaders in Congress to ensure that this never happens again.”

John Rappaport points out a fact that Wikipedia actually does mention above, but of course, went unmentioned in the mainstream media. Rappaport says that,

Mainstream press outlets are reporting this fact to show he never should have been allowed to purchase a gun after his release from prison—except the Army failed to enter his criminal record in a national database that would have red-flagged him, when he tried to buy several weapons.

Shooting

At approximately 11:20 a.m. CST, Devin Patrick Kelley exited from a vehicle at a gas station across the street from the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs wearing black tactical gear, a ballistic vest, and a black face-mask featuring a white skull, and wielding an AR-15 pattern Ruger AR-556 semi-automatic rifle. He immediately fired in the direction of the church. He crossed the street and approached the building from the right while firing, and continued to fire while entering the church building with worshipers attending regular Sunday service. Inside, he yelled, “Everybody die, motherf#$^ers,” as he proceeded up and down the aisle and shot at people in the pews. Police found 15 empty AR-15 magazines capable of holding 30 rounds each. According to investigators, the shooting was captured on a camera set up at the back of the church to record regular services for uploading online. The footage shows Kelley methodically shooting the victims, pausing only to reload his rifle.

As Kelley left the church, he was confronted by local resident and former NRA firearms instructor Stephen Willeford, armed with an AR-15 pattern semi-automatic rifle. Willeford took cover behind a truck and shot Kelley twice. Kelley dropped his rifle and fled in his Ford Explorer as Willeford fired several rounds through the vehicle’s window. Willeford flagged down a passing pickup truck driven by Johnnie Langendorff, and they pursued Kelley at high speed for about five to seven minutes. According to Langendorff, they drove at speeds up to 95 miles per hour (155 km/h). While chasing Kelley, the men called 9-1-1 and reported their location to the operator; they assumed that the police were on their way to the church. During the chase, Kelley called his father to tell him that he was injured and thought that he would not survive. Kelley lost control of his vehicle, and it hit a road sign and flipped before landing in a bar ditch in Guadalupe County, near the city of New Berlin. Willeford and Langendorff observed that he was motionless, and police took over the scene when they arrived. Police found Kelley dead in his car with three gunshot wounds, including a self-inflicted head wound. Two handguns were found in the vehicle: a Glock 9 mm and a Ruger .22-caliber, both of which Kelley had purchased. (Wikipedia)

Steven Crowder (Louder with Crowder) exclusive interview with Stephen Willeford, the hero who ended the killing spree in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Stephen recounts the actions that lead him to confronting Devin Patrick Kelley outside First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

Wikipedia section titled “Hoaxes and Conspiracy Theories

Wkipedia states:

Fake news websites and far-right activists published misleading stories and conspiracy stories about the incident. They associated the shooter with a range of people and groups the far-right opposes such as identifying him as a Democrat or a radical Muslim, or claiming that he carried an Antifa flag and told churchgoers, “This is a communist revolution.”

Devin Kelley’s Facebook page stated that he was an atheist and his interests included “Civil and social rights” and “Civil rights” as well as endorsements for local Texan Democratic political candidates. His page also featured photos of several high powered weapons. The shooting occurred only hours after 3 weeks of Antifa threats that major violent attacks would take place on November 4th. It appears someone did put together a fake collage of pictures from his Facebook that included an Antifa flag, but the claims that it is FAKE cannot be verified since Kelley’s Facebook page was taken down without explanation less than an hour after the shooting.

Let’s go ahead and lay this to rest right now. The far-right (badly) put together a collage of images/mock up of a FB profile and are claiming the Texas shooter uploaded a picture of his antifa flag. How do we know its fake? That’s OUR picture. Pulled from our shop website when we had that flag design in stock. The person holding it in the picture is me. The admin of this page. In my office. You can only see a part of my torso but yeah… Myth: Busted. Good Night Alt-Right.

So, Antifa United claims this was their picture of Baxter Dmitry holding the flag. Okay, but that doesn’t prove that Kelley didn’t post the picture of the flag on his Facebook page and reports I’ve read do not claim it was Kelley actually holding the flag – only that it was posted on his page.

Wikipedia continues:

“Some reports falsely claimed that he targeted the church because they were “white conservatives”.

Lloyd Marcus, a black former UK Guardian and prolific Tea Party member, writing for the ‘American Thinker’ in 2015 noted the obvious war from the left on White’s,

A WMD of the Left’s assault is the hate and violence generating lie that white men, particularly police, routinely murder young black males. When you teach black youths that criticizing the president is racist, that Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown were murdered by whites, that black flash mob attacks, the knockout game, polar bearing hunting, and assassinations of police are to be expected.

That assault from the left has only intensified since Marcus wrote the above statement in 2015 (see the Charlottesville riots in 2017), so it should not be considered a crazy ‘conspiracy theory’ to connect dots from a mass murderer with an Antifa flag on his Facebook page to an obvious agenda of the violent leftist group Antifa. Particularly  following a leaked chat between Antifa members threatening to target “whitey” and conservative churches. A screenshot below:

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