Skip to main content

Texas Shooter Served One Year In The MCAS Miramar Brig

The sun is reflected on some of the 26 crosses placed in a field before a vig...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: The sun is reflected on some of the 26 crosses placed in a field before a vigil for the victims of the First Baptist Church shooting Monday, Nov. 6, 2017.

The man who opened fire with an assault rifle in a Texas church over the weekend, killing more than two dozen congregants, ended his military career with a stint in the brig at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for domestic-violence crimes, authorities confirmed Monday.

Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, carried out the shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a rural community about 35 miles southeast of San Antonio, late Sunday morning.

Photo credit: Associated Press

This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows Devin Kelley, the suspect in the shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. A

The 26 people killed ranged in age from 17 months to 77 years old. At least 20 other victims survived, though about half of them were hospitalized in critical condition.

Following the massacre, Kelley got into a shootout with a bystander outside the church, then drove off with the bystander and another man in pursuit. Kelley eventually crashed his car and was found dead inside with several bullet wounds, including a self-inflicted shot to the head, police said.

RELATED: Texas Church Gunman Sent Hostile Text Messages Before Attack

Five years ago, while serving in the U.S. Air Force, Kelley was sentenced to a year's confinement at MCAS Miramar for assaulting his wife and stepson, USAF spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said. He was reduced in rank before getting a bad-conduct discharge from the service in 2014.

Those convictions should have prevented Kelley from legally buying firearms, but the Air Force neglected to enter his name into a federal database for checks on gun buyers, authorities said.

"The Air Force has launched a review of how the service handled the criminal records of former Airman Devin P. Kelley following his 2012 domestic violence conviction," USAF officials said in a prepared statement. "Federal law prohibited him from buying or possessing firearms after this conviction."

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.