On Nov. 5, 2017, a gunman with a military style rifle opened fired in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people. The gunman, who was later identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, died shortly after the attack.
The shooting is considered to be the deadliest mass shooting the state has ever seen. The victims ranged in age from 5 to 72, and among the dead were a pregnant woman, several children, and the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter. Twenty others were wounded.
According to reports, Kelley had first stopped at a gas station across Highway 87 from the church. He then proceeded to drive across the street, get out of his car, and begin firing from the outside of the church, moving to the right. He then made his way into the building, shooting the parishioners before fleeing the scene.
Once he had emerged from the church he had a shooting exchange with a neighbor whom was able to hit Mr. Kelley, who fled in his vehicle shortly after. The neighbor followed him in his pursuit into the next county - Guadalupe County - where Kelley had managed to crash his car. He was found dead, but how he died still remains unclear, officials report.
After hearing about the affair, President Trump, who was on his 10-day tour of Asia, had called the shooting a “mental health problem at the highest level,” while adding that Kelley was a “very deranged individual.” Subsequently, he ordered that the flags be flown half-staff at the White House and all federal buildings through Nov. 9.
As of right now a motive for the shooting has not been discovered, although the FBI is attempting to hack into his phone to see if it can gather any useful information. It is important to note, however, that he was dishonorably discharged from the military due to assault charges, according to Air Force records, and had repeatedly beat his wife and toddler stepson - fracturing the baby’s skull. The only reason he was able to obtain a gun was that the military had failed to enter this information into their databases.