Gunman Sent 'Threatening Texts' to His Mother-in-Law

Massacre may have been triggered by 'domestic situation'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2017 11:44 AM CST
Updated Nov 6, 2017 1:24 PM CST
This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows Devin Kelley.   (Texas Department of Public Safety via AP)
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(Newser) – Sunday's mass shooting at a Texas church appears to have been set off by some kind of family fight. "We can tell you that there was a domestic situation going on within this family," said a Texas Department of Public Safety official, adding that 26-year-old Devin Kelley had sent his mother-in-law "threatening texts." Kelley's in-laws attended First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs but were not there on Sunday. Police didn't provide details about the family dispute but suggested that Kelley went to the church with his in-laws as targets. Other developments and details:

  • Half were kids: Of the 26 people killed, up to 14 were children, says Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt, per NBC News. The victims ranged in age from 18 months to 77 years. In addition to those killed, 20 people were wounded.
  • A survivor: One 5-year-old boy was shot five times but is out of surgery in a San Antonio hospital, reports the Daily Beast. Ryan Ward was at the church with his step-mother, who was killed.
  • Called his father: Police say that when Kelley left the church he exchanged gunfire with a citizen, then led the citizen and another on a high-speed chase. (Their story is here.) At some point in the pursuit, Kelley called his father to say he'd been shot and didn't expect to live, reports CBS News. Police think Kelley fatally shot himself—he also may have been shot by the citizen—but the details were still being sorted out.

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