Report: TX Gunman Escaped From Mental Health Facility In 2012

REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
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Devin P. Kelley, the gunman who killed 26 people in a Texas church, reportedly escaped from a mental health facility in 2012.

According to Channel 2 Houston, Kelley was institutionalized while he was in the U.S. Air Force after being charged with assaulting his wife and baby stepson.

A 2012 police report shows that he escaped from the psychiatric hospital after making death threats against his superiors in the Air Force and trying to smuggle weapons onto the base where he was stationed.

Kelley escaped from Peak Behavioral Health Services, a facility in New Mexico, and was caught by police in El Paso, Texas on June 7, 2012.

A witness told police that Kelley “suffered from mental disorders and had plans to run to from Peak Behavioral Health Services” by purchasing a bus ticket to get out of the state.

Kelley “was a danger to himself and others as he had already been caught sneaking firearms onto Holloman Air Force base,” the witness stated. Kelley “was attempting to carry out death threats” on his superiors in the Air Force.

The report indicates that the incident was put into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database.

Just two years later, Kelley was able to purchase a firearm in Colorado. He purchased three more guns over the next three years, although he was denied a concealed carry permit in Texas. The USAF took responsibility for his ability to purchase the guns, explaining that they never entered his domestic violence charge into the NCIC database.

On Sunday, Kelley opened fire on a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and injuring 20. Investigators say Kelley may have been motivated by some kind of “domestic incident.”


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