The now deceased San Antonio shooter may have illegally possessed the weapon he used to slaughter and seriously injure church attendees in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday.
Devin Patrick Kelley used an AR-15 style rifle to kill 26 people and wound 20 others, authorities said, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the Lone Star State’s history.
“At approximately 11:20 this morning a suspect was seen at a Valero gas station in Sutherland Springs, Texas,” said Freeman Martin, a major in the Texas Rangers and a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. “He was dressed in all black. That suspect crossed the street to the church, exited his vehicle and began firing at the church.”
Kelley had a bad conduct discharge from the U.S. Air Force in 2014 after being court-martialed in November 2012 as a result of assaulting both his wife and his child, The Daily Beast reported. The assault should have precluded Kelley from owning a firearm.
The Law Office of E.J Morris explain that Texas law prohibits anyone convicted of assaulting a family member from within their residence from owning a firearm:
Both federal and Texas law contain prohibitions on firearm ownership and possession for persons convicted of an assault involving certain members of one’s household. Texas law prohibits anyone convicted of assault punishable as a class A misdemeanor and committed against a member of the defendant’s household. “Household” includes everyone living in the same house regardless of whether they are related. Texas Penal Code Sec. 46.04 allows a person with this type of conviction after the fifth anniversary of the person’s release from confinement or the person’s release from community supervision (probation) to possess a firearm on the premises where he or she lives. Federal law prohibits possession or ownership of a firearm by a person convicted or a domestic assault or any punishment classification against a present or former spouse or partner or child or guardian of any such person. Federal law does not contain a similar time limit so it is a violation of federal law for that same person to possess a firearm, even in their home.
Kelley’s rampage was stopped after a local man grabbed his own rifle and engaged the shooter. (RELATED: Texas Gun Owner Stopped Church Shooting Rampage)