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The Latest: Official: Kelley was court-martialed, discharged

November 6, 2017
Associated Press

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — The Latest on a shooting at a church in Texas (all times local):

9 p.m.

An Air Force official says the man identified by officials to The Associated Press as the gunman in the mass shooting at a Texas church was court-martialed in 2012 and discharged two years later.

Spokeswoman Ann Stefanek says Devin P. Kelley was court-martialed on one count of assault on his spouse and another count of assault on their child. He received a bad conduct discharge, 12 months' confinement and a reduction in rank.

Stefanek also says Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge.

Authorities say 26 people were killed and about 20 others wounded in the attack in Sutherland Springs.

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8:30 p.m.

A teenager says the layout of the Texas church where authorities say a man killed 26 people and injured 20 others would have made it difficult for congregants to flee a shooter who came in the front door.

Sixteen-year-old Hunter Green was at a vigil near the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday evening. He described the church as having only small exits on the side and in the back. If a gunman came in the front door, Green says "they wouldn't have had anywhere to go."

He says he attends the church with his girlfriend but they skipped the morning service after a late date night. He adds that both got frantic phone calls from people asking if they were OK.

Green says "we just missed it. It should have been me."

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7:50 p.m.

People who live near an address listed for the Texas church shooting suspect say they heard intense gunfire from that direction in recent days.

Sixteen-year-old Ryan Albers lives across the road from the listed home of suspect Devin Kelley. He says: "It's really loud. At first I thought someone was blasting."

He says "It was someone using automatic weapon fire."

Another nearby neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said he had also heard gunfire coming from across the street but couldn't be sure if it came from the property listed as Kelley's address. The neighbor added that the sound of gunfire is not unusual in the area given the seclusion and the big acreage of the surrounding properties.

Authorities say 26 people were killed and about 20 wounded in the shooting.

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7:30 p.m.

A U.S. military official says the suspect identified in the mass shooting at a Texas church was a former Air Force member who was stationed in New Mexico at one time.

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek says records confirm that Devin P. Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge. The date of his discharge and the circumstances under which he left the service were not immediately available.

The Pentagon also confirmed that Kelley was an airman "at one point," but didn't provide additional details.

Authorities say 26 people were killed and about 20 others wounded in the attack in Sutherland Springs.

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7:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump has promised his administration's full support to the investigation of a Texas church shooting that left 26 dead and about 20 wounded.

Speaking to U.S. and Japanese business leaders in Tokyo Monday morning during his Asian trip, Trump highlighted that this "act of evil" at a place of sacred worship.

Trump says: "Our hearts are broken but in dark times — and these are dark times — such as these, Americans do what they do best." He says Americans will pull together to help those suffering.

Trump says he will continue monitoring the investigation during his 11-day tour.

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7:05 p.m.

More than 100 people gathered after dark on a grassy street corner within sight of the church where the shooting occurred for a prayer vigil.

Attendees, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, lit candles while some wept and others hugged Sunday night. They could see the church sign lit up and emergency lights flashing.

The vigil across the street from a gas station convenience store where law enforcement officials say the shooter stopped before the attack.

Mike Gonzales, who does not attend the church but lives near says: "The people of this church are wonderful people." Gonzales added, "We're coming together to pray for them and show the world that now, in the midst of darkness, there is light."

Authorities say 26 people were killed and about 20 wounded in the attack.

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7 p.m.

The Pentagon has confirmed the suspect identified in the mass shooting at a Texas church previously served in the Air Force.

In a brief statement, the Pentagon says Devin Kelley was an airman "at one point," but additional details about his time in the Air Force were not immediately available.

Authorities say 26 people were killed and about 20 others injured in the attack at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, 30 miles southeast of San Antonio.

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6:45 p.m.

Two sheriff's vans were parked outside and police officers stood at the gate of a cattle fence surrounding the address listed for the Texas church shooting suspect, preventing a group of waiting journalists from entering.

Two officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity have identified him as Devin Kelley.

Officials from the Comal County Sherriff's Office and the Texas Rangers declined to comment Sunday evening, or to say if they had raided his home. A few minutes later, the gate opened and two Texas Rangers trucks pulled out.

The home is in a wooded area on the rural, western outskirts of New Braunfels, north of San Antonio. It is off a two-lane highway.

Authorities say 26 people were killed and about 20 wounded in the shooting.

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6:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the deadly church shooting in Texas is an "act of evil."

Trump is in Tokyo on the first leg of a visit to Asia. He says he has spoken with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the state has the administration's "full support."

Trump says he will continue to follow developments closely while he is traveling through Asia.

The president says the "act of evil" occurred as the victims and families were in their place of "sacred worship."

Texas authorities say 26 people were killed and about 20 others were wounded Sunday after a man open fire inside First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs southeast of San Antonio.

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6:15 p.m.

Texas authorities are offering more details about the timeline of a deadly church shooting.

Department of Public Safety regional director Freeman Martin says the alleged shooter was dressed in black, wearing tactical gear and a ballistic vest when he arrived at a neighboring gas station around 11:20 a.m.

He crossed the street to the church, left his vehicle and started firing a Ruger AR assault-type rifle at the church. Then he entered the church and fired.

As he left the church, the shooter met an unidentified area resident with his own rifle who pursued him. The suspect was found dead in his vehicle near the border between Wilson and Guadalupe counties.

Martin says it's unclear if he died of a self-inflected wound or was shot by the resident.

Authorities haven't announced the name of the suspect, only describing him as a white male in his 20s.

Two officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity identified the attacker as Devin Kelley.

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6 p.m.

A top Texas public safety officer says that 23 of the people found dead in a shooting at a Baptist church were found inside the building, two others were outside and one person was transported but died later.

Freeman Martin, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, says the ages of those killed ranged from 5 to 72.

He told a news conference that about 20 other people were injured in the attack.

The first report of the shooting was at about 11:20 a.m., or about 20 minutes after the church website says the Sunday worship was scheduled to start.

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5:40 p.m.

Gov. Greg Abbott says 26 people were killed in the attack on a Texas church and that it was the deadliest mass shooting in the state's history.

Abbott's remarks came during a news conference Sunday, hours after the attack on the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a community 30 miles southeast of San Antonio.

The victims ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old.

Two officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity identified the attacker as Devin Kelley.

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5:20 p.m.

Two officials have identified the suspect in a mass shooting at a Texas church as Devin Kelley.

The officials — one a U.S. official and the other in law enforcement — spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation, which they were briefed on.

The U.S. official says Kelley lived in a suburb of San Antonio and that he doesn't appear to be linked to organized terrorist groups. The official says investigators are looking at social media posts Kelley may have made in the days before Sunday's attack, including one that appeared to show an AR-15 semiautomatic weapon.

Authorities say Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs and opened fire, killing more than 20 people and wounding at least 10 others.

This item has been corrected to fix the spelling of Kelley on second reference.

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5 p.m.

A congregant who wasn't at a Texas church the day of a deadly shooting says his cousins attended and that family members have been told at least one was killed.

Thirty-four-year-old Nick Uhlig says he didn't go to the Sutherland Springs church Sunday because he was out late Saturday. He says the cousin who was killed had three children and was pregnant with a fourth. He didn't know specifics about how the other was doing.

Uhlig says the family had just met days earlier for his cousins' grandfather's funeral.

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4:20 p.m.

The wife of the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs says the couple's 14-year-old daughter was among those killed in a mass shooting at the church.

Sherri Pomeroy, wife of Pastor Frank Pomeroy, said in a text message that she lost her daughter "and many friends" in the Sunday shooting. The text came in response to an interview request sent by The Associated Press to a phone number linked in online records to Frank Pomeroy.

Sherri Pomeroy says both she and her husband were out of town and trying to get back to Sutherland Springs, outside of San Antonio.

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3:30 p.m.

A law enforcement official says more than 20 people have been killed in a shooting at a church in a small town outside San Antonio.

The official, who was briefed on the investigation, says the gunman fled the church in a vehicle after the shooting and was also killed, either by a self-inflicted wound or during a confrontation with police. The official was not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The official says between 10 to 15 people were also injured but stressed the investigation was early and the figures could change. Authorities are still trying to determine a motive.

Federal law enforcement swarmed the scene to offer assistance, including ATF investigators and members of the FBI's evidence collection team.

Associated Press writer Sadie Gurman in Washington contributed to this report.

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2:45 p.m.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is calling a reported shooting at a church in a small town outside San Antonio an "evil act."

A sheriff says a man entered First Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and started shooting, leaving multiple people dead and injured.

Abbott tweeted Sunday: "Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act." He thanked law enforcement for their response.

The Republican governor has also promised "more details" from the state's Department of Public Safety soon.

Sutherland Springs is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of San Antonio.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement that his office "stands ready to assist local law enforcement as needed."

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2:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump has tweeted from Japan that he is monitoring the situation in Texas following a mass shooting at a church.

Trump tweeted: "May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas." He added that the FBI is on the scene.

Trump is in Japan as part of a 12-day, five-country Asian trip.

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2:25 p.m.

A spokeswoman says the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is sending special agents from field offices in Houston and San Antonio to the site of a church shooting in South Texas.

ATF spokeswoman Mary Markos did not immediately have further details.

A sheriff says that a man walked into the church and started firing. Authorities say the attacker is dead.

The number of fatalities or injuries hasn't been confirmed by authorities, but a Wilson County commissioner, Albert Gamez, has told cable news outlets that he was told it was more than 20 killed and 20 wounded, though those figures aren't confirmed.

One hospital about 10 miles from the shooting says there "multiple" victims with gunshot wounds are being treated.

Connally Memorial Medical Center spokeswoman Megan Posey declined to say how many patients were being treated at the hospital, but said the number was less than a dozen. The hospital is in Floresville, Texas.

2:15 p.m.

A County Commissioner in Texas says he's been told that more than 20 people were killed and more than 20 were wounded in an attack at a church, though he says those figures haven't been confirmed.

Albert Gamez, a Wilson County commissioner, made the comments to cable news outlets after the attack Sunday at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, a small community 30 miles southeast of San Antonio.

A sheriff says that a man walked into the church and started firing. Authorities say the attacker is dead.

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1:20 p.m.

A sheriff says a man walked into a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and started shooting, leaving multiple people dead.

The Wilson County News reports that Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said the shooter has been taken down. It wasn't immediately known how many people were killed and wounded or who carried out the attack.

First responders converged on the church in the small town southeast of San Antonio and helicopters are taking victims to hospitals.

Sutherland Springs is a community of about 400 people 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of San Antonio.

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1 p.m.

Local news outlets report that several people have been shot at a Baptist Church in South Texas.

Television stations KSAT and KENS report that there are multiple victims and that there is a large police presence at the church in Sutherland Springs, which is 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of San Antonio.

KSAT reports that two Airlife helicopters are also at the scene.

A sheriff's department dispatcher says everyone is at the scene and unavailable to comment.

KSAT has video of several fire and police vehicles at the church and a photo of a helicopter that the station says was arriving to take victims to hospitals.

 
 
 

 

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