Texas shooter 'escaped mental health clinic in 2012'
Texas shooter 'escaped mental health clinic in 2012'
Witnesses said a man'in full gear walked inside the church and opened fire just before 11.30am
08 November, 2017, 20:14
The gunman who killed 26 churchgoers in Texas fled from a mental health clinic in 2012, according to a police report, APA reports quoting CNN. At the time, police officers were warned that Kelley was a danger to himself and others and that he had sneaked guns into Holloman Air Force Base, where he reportedly also threatened his commanders.
Later that year, he was formally ousted from the Air Force for a 2012 assault on his ex-wife in which he choked her and struck her son hard enough to fracture his skull. The report, obtained by KPRC in Houston, also reveals that he made death threats against his military superiors and was trying to smuggle weapons onto base.
The man who carried out one of the deadliest United States mass shootings was able to buy guns legally from a sporting goods store because a prior domestic violence conviction was never put into an Federal Bureau of Investigation database.
A witness said Kelley "suffered from mental disorders and had plans to run from Peak Behavioral Health Services. and take a bus out of state", according to the report.
A few months before he received the bad-conduct discharge, sheriff's deputies went to his home to check out the domestic violence complaint involving him and his then-girlfriend.
Families of victims in the Texas church massacre can sue the Air Force for failing to prevent the shooter from buying his gun, or at least for making the purchase easier than it should have been, legal analysts said Tuesday.
He sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law and texted her as recently as Sunday morning - not long before he sprayed bullets at the people in the church with an assault rifle, authorities said. The store that sold the gun to Kelley will be protected by strong federal laws allowing victim lawsuits only if the store knew at the time of sale that he had "a prior conviction for domestic assault...."
The Air Force Inspector General is now conducting an investigation into what happened.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Tuesday said he has directed the Pentagon's watchdog to examine the circumstances of the Air Force's failure to report Kelley's domestic violence conviction to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor who has written about firearms issues, said a judge who heard such a case should be able to draw a connection between the omission of the shooter's name from the database and the bloodshed at the church.
On Monday, FBI investigators flew Kelley's phone to headquarters in Quantico, Virginia after they were unable to get into the device to access information that may be key in deciphering his motives.
The records from Comal County also describe a burglary that Kelley's father, Michael, reported on his property the day after the sexual assault report. The death count may rise, authorities said.
Authorities have reviewed video from inside church.
The dead ranged in age from 18 months to 77 years. Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin says the mass shooting stemmed from a domestic situation and was not racially or religiously motivated.
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