Texas gunman broke stepson's skull, assaulted wife in troubled life

Women visit a memorial where 26 crosses stand in a field on the edge

An error on the part of the United States Air Force might have helped Devin Kelly, the gunman who massacred 26 people in a church in Texas, to buy guns.

Conceding that Kelley was prohibited under federal law from buying or possessing firearms after his 2012 conviction, an Air Force spokeswoman said the Inspector-General of the force has been ordered to conduct a complete review of the Kelley case.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Tuesday he has instructed the Pentagon watchdog to "find out what's going on" with the Air Force's failure to report the Texas church shooting suspect's criminal history.

The report also disclosed that police who were alerted to Devin Kelley's escape were advised that he posed a "danger to himself and others" after being "caught sneaking firearms" onto the U.S. Air Force base in New Mexico where he was stationed.

Texas' senior senator says he wants to ensure the military complies with the law on background checks after the Air Force failed to submit the criminal history to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the gunman who killed 26 at a Texas church.

"Law enforcement, whether it's at the state, local or federal level, is increasingly not able to get into these phones", Combs said, declining to confirm what type of phone Kelley had used.

- Kelley is accused of carrying out a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, about 40 miles southeast of San Antonio, on Sunday, killing 26 - including an unborn child.

Although Kelley's in-laws occasionally attended services at First Baptist, they were not there Sunday. Had the Air Force taken such measures, Gerrond said, it is more likely the details of Kelley's conviction would have reached the FBI's database.

"He did not think that he was a good person and did not want him around his church", Tackitt said of the pastor.

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Devin Patrick Kelley fled the Peak Behavioral Health Services hospital, where he was sent after being court-martialed on charges of assaulting his wife and infant stepson.

Investigators believe Kelley acted alone in the church attack and was not motivated by any political or religious agenda, but perhaps by a domestic argument Kelley had with his mother-in-law, who is a member of the church's congregation but who was not in attendance during the attack.

As of Tuesday, 10 of the wounded remained in critical condition, Martin said.

The incident reportedly happened months after Kelley was charged with abusing his wife and stepson. But most analysts said the law should at least get Kelley's victims, or their survivors, through the courthouse door. A Glock and a Ruger handgun were discovered inside a Ford Expedition where Kelley's body was found after a chase following the shooting, authorities said, and a Ruger AR-556 rifle was recovered at the church.

Former classmate Nina Rose Vaca told the Dallas Morning News: "He was a little unusual but it was high school". However, Wilson brought up Kelley's 2014 conviction.

But in recent years, friends said, he grew so dark that many unfriended him on Facebook. Instead, law enforcement officials say, he bought several.

Instead of straightening out after his bad conduct discharge, Kelley began a long downward slide that culminated in the shooting on Sunday.

Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 for two counts of Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Kelley denied the account and was issued a summons but didn't spend any time in jail.

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