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Deadliest Mass Shooting in Texas

Natalie Beckstead

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The small town of Sutherland Springs, Texas is normally quiet and peaceful, but not on the Sunday of November 5th. The terrorist who made this small town turn upside down is 26 year old, Devin Kelley. He opened fire onto 26 churchgoers with an assault rifle and 15 loaded magazines. People of all ages were harmed, ranging from 17 months to 77 years old. Authorities have said that 4% of the town’s population were killed in the shooting.
According to CNN, Devin Kelley had a record of violence that covered domestic abuse on his spouse and child, animal cruelty, sexual assault and rape accusations, threatening text messages, and an obsession with guns and mass shootings. Don Christensen, the former Air Force chief prosecutor when Kelley was sentenced, said that Kelley admitted to pushing his son down out of anger and injuring him. Christensen also said that Kelley violently shook the child who suffered fractures and had subdural hematoma, which is bleeding between the skull and the brain.
Kelley had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law on Sunday morning, not long before he began the attack. It is thought that he believed that she was at the church. In this attack he killed the grandmother of his wife.
Devin Kelley was denied a license to carry a gun, said Texas Governor Greg Abbott, but he passed a background check that is required to make the purchase he made for the Ruger AR-556 rifle that he used in the shooting.
According to CNN, his domestic violence record should have barred him under Texas law from purchasing four guns between 2014 and 2017, but his name did not show up in the federal database that licensed gun dealers are required to check before selling someone a firearm.
The US Air Force acknowledged it did not give information about Kelley’s court martial conviction for domestic assault to civilian law enforcement, something that could have prevented him from purchasing the firearms used in the shooting.
The Cougar Claw had an interview with Sara Bremer, an 11th grader here at Kearns High School. She was asked how this event impacted her life and she said, “This event has made me tell the people I love how much they mean to me because you never know what could happen.”
According to The New York Times, Devin Kelley, escaped from a psychiatric hospital while he was in the Air Force. He was caught a few miles away by the local police, who were told that he had made death threats against his superiors and tried to smuggle weapons onto his base.
When Kelley was found, he had three gunshot wounds. He was shot in the leg and torso by an armed citizen, and he had a self-inflicted shot to the head, said authorities. It wasn’t clear which gunshot killed him, but evidence at the scene indicates that he may have died from the self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was later found dead in his vehicle.
As a result of this deadly mass shooting, a crime victims compensation fund will provide $6,500 to families of the victims for funeral expenses, said officials. A funeral company has donated caskets. In midst of all the pain and suffering, we continue to see the power of people through these donations.

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Deadliest Mass Shooting in Texas