News & Politics

Police Are Zeroing In on a Motive in the Texas Church Massacre

Officials believe it may have been triggered by a domestic dispute.

Photo Credit: Screenshot / Raw Story

Devin Patrick Kelley, the deceased gunman who fatally shot 26 people at the at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, this weekend, was not motivated by either racial or religious prejudice, police said on Monday.

Instead, police hinted that the shooting was motivated by a domestic dispute, while noting that Kelley’s mother-in-law attended the church. Police also said that they found that Kelley had recently sent “threatening” text messages to his mother-in-law.

Authorities said that they are not treating the mass shooting as a terrorism investigation.

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On Sunday, it was revealed that Kelley had been discharged from the Air Force over accusations of domestic violence against his wife and child that were first leveled in 2012.

Additionally, police said that Kelley was not licensed to carry any weapons in Texas, although they also said they were not yet sure if his discharge from the Air Force precluded him from owning firearms. They said that they found four guns on Kelley — two of which were purchased in Texas, two of which were purchased out of state.

Brad Reed is a writer living in Boston. His work has previously appeared in the American Prospect Online, and he blogs frequently at Sadly, No!.