Pic Courtesy- Toledo Blade
The gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, began firing into First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs as Bryan Holcombe, an assistant pastor, ascended to the pulpit. Walking up and down the center aisle, Kelley killed 25 people at the church, including crying babies at point-blank range, according to witness accounts. Authorities have put the official toll at 26, because Crystal Holcombe was pregnant.
John Holcombe was managing the church’s audio-visual operations at the back of the building when gunfire erupted. He and Crystal’s 7-year-old daughter Evelyn escaped the barrage. Crystal’s eldest child, 14-year-old Philip, had stayed home from church services that day.
After his rampage, Kelley fled in a vehicle parked near the church, pursued by a barefoot observer with an AR assault rifle and another man in a pick-up truck. The man with the rifle shot and struck Kelley but authorities say the gunman died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Investigators have said the attack appeared to stem from a domestic dispute Kelley was having with his mother-in-law, a member of the church who wasn’t present that day. However, among the victims was Lula White, the gunman’s wife’s 71-year-old grandmother.
Kelley had a history of domestic violence: He was given a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force after pleading guilty to assaulting his first wife and stepson.
Under federal law, anyone convicted of domestic violence cannot purchase a firearm. But the Air Force failed to inform federal law enforcement authorities that Kelley had been court-martialed. When he tried to buy guns after his release from a military prison, his conviction was not in the database used to conduct background checks, and the purchases went through. In addition to those killed, another 20 people were injured in the shooting. Eight survivors remained hospitalized Wednesday at two San Antonio-area hospitals, their conditions ranging from good to critical.
Source- Indian Express