Texas Officials Indicate ‘Domestic Dispute’ Involved in Church Massacre

FBI investigators at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Photo: Ildefonso Ortiz/Breitbart Texas

Texas Department of Public Safety officials told reporters in Sutherland Springs that the shooter who killed 26 in a church on Sunday did so over a domestic violence issue. FBI officials confirmed there is no terrorism investigation underway.

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Region 6 Director Freeman Martin told reporters gathered for a live-streamed press conference that Devin Patrick Kelley sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law shortly before his attack on the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. His wife’s family attended on a regular basis but were not there on this particular Sunday. An FBI official on the scene confirmed his agency is providing technical assistance for the investigation, which is being led by the Texas Rangers. He said there is no terrorism investigation underway and remains a state investigation.

Martin told the reporters there is a video from inside the church that captured the attack. He said the video shows Kelley freely moving about the inside of the church. He would not comment further on the video.

Martin also confirmed the shooter did not have a Texas License to Carry a handgun. Kelley did have an unarmed private security guard license.

An official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) told reporters that Kelley legally purchased four firearms over the past four years–one each year. In addition to the Ruger .556 AR-15 rifle, the shooter had a Glock 9mm pistol and a Ruger .22. The agent did not specify what the fourth firearm was. It was also apparently not at the scene of the shooting or the car crash where Kelley died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Martin later re-emphasized that the shooting was a domestic violence situation. He said there was no political or religious connection.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTXGAB, and Facebook.


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