Devin Patrick Kelley, the man who authorities confirmed was responsible for America’s deadliest mass shooting, was believed to have two handguns and a rifle in his possession.
Kelley reportedly fired random shots at a worshippers during service at a church located in Sutherland Springs. The attack recorded 26 casualties while more than 20 people suffered various degree of injuries.
Police said there are speculations, based on the available evidence, that Kelley, 26, committed suicide after the mass shooting in San Antonio. He was believed to have died of self-inflicted gunshot after a group of patriotic citizens who witnessed the massacre gave him a hot chase.
Kelley, an Air Force veteran who spent time at a New Mexico mental health hospital in 2012, according to an El Paso Police Department report, was allegedly carrying out death threats he made against his military command.
‘He suffered from mental disorders and had plans to run from Peak Behavioral Health Services … and take a bus out of state,’ a witness told El Paso about the suspect.
When Kelley was found after escaping from the mental facility, he did not resist arrest. The news outlet added that he was handed over to Sunland Park police officers.
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However, the report added that he was also caught smuggling guns onto Hollaman Air Force Base where he served in New Mexico, and was still facing criminal charges as at the time he attacked innocent citizens in church.
According to The Associated Press, a Ruger AR-556 rifle was found at the attack scene. Another two handguns were found in his vehicle – a Glock 9 mm and a Ruger .22-caliber. The suspect legally bought all three guns, authorities said.
Hundreds of shell casings were gathered at the crime scene, including a total of 15 empty magazines which contained 30 rounds each. That’s about 450 shots fired or more.
Investigators confirmed Kelley owned four guns; he started the gradual purchases and planning between 2014 to 2017, buying one gun every year. Two of the firearms were bought in Texas and another two in Colorado.
The gunman didn’t have a license to carry a handgun, authorities said, citing that no licence is required to buy or own a handgun in Texas. However, one is required to carry it in public.
Kelley’s only licence was as an unarmed private security guard.
The suspect served at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his dishonorable discharge in 2014 after he was convicted of child and spouse abuse. He faced a court-martial in 2012 on the allegations and served a 12-month prison term.
‘The Air Force failed to report Kelley’s criminal history to the federal database used to conduct background checks on citizens looking to buy a gun, even though it was required to do so by Pentagon rules,’ federal officials said.
Peak Behavioral Health said in a statement today, according to a report from ABC News: “We are deeply committed to providing the best patient care. We never discuss whether someone was or was not a patient at our hospital, and we never discuss any information about our patients. Preserving the confidentiality of this information is not only a matter of policy, it is federal and state law.”
The facility added, “Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrible act and their families and friends, and like everyone else in Texas, we are doing everything we can to help the community in recovering and healing from this tragedy.”
Devin Patrick Kelley died shortly after the attack.