Devin Kelley Murdered 26 People With Legally-Purchased Firearms. The Air Force Could Have Prevented It ‘Multiple’ Times
The failure of the U.S. Air Force to report a domestic violence conviction to civilian authorities “had drastic consequences” that led to the shooting deaths of 26 people and the wounding of 22 others at a Texas church in 2017, and it “should not have occurred,” according to a new report released Friday from the Pentagon Inspector General.
On Nov. 5, 2017, former Air Force service member Devin Kelley, 26, used three legally-purchased firearms to carry out the deadliest church shooting in U.S. history at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. But as the report makes clear, there was “no valid reason” why the service failed on multiple occasions to submit fingerprints to the FBI — which would have prevented the purchase of those weapons.
“As described in detail in this report, in November 2012, while in the USAF, Kelley was the subject of two law enforcement investigations, one led by the 49th Security Forces at Holloman Air Force Base (HAFB), the other led by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) Detachment 225,” the report said.
“As a result of the investigations, Kelley was convicted by General Court-Martial of an assault on both his wife and stepson, which is reportable to the FBI in accordance with DoD policy. This conviction should have prevented Kelley from purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer.”
In accordance with DoD policy, Kelley’s fingerprints or final disposition report should have been submitted to the FBI on a number of occasions: After the service established probable cause that Kelley had assaulted his stepson and wife; at the conclusion of his court-martial, and when he entered post-trial confinement.
Air Force prosecutors were well aware of Kelley’s penchant for violence: In 2012 he was convicted at court-martial of “fracturing his baby stepson’s skull …read more
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