by Vincent Cucchiara
On Sunday, November 6th, Devin Patrick Kelley of Texas shot up a church in Sutherland Springs, killing 26 people and sending several more to the hospital before he was finally apprehended. After he left the church, locals Stephen Willeford and Johnnie Langendorff pursued Kelley’s vehicle until the attacker was run off the road. Willeford first opened fire on Kelley outside the church, then continued his pursuit in Langendorff’s vehicle. According to early police reports, after Kelley was run off the road and his vehicle was immobilized, he took his own life. Kelley was not from the area where he committed the attack, and it is possible that these two stopped Kelley from shooting more people.
Devin Kelley was well known for his radical, anti-Christian views, and many suspect that to be at least a partial motive for his attack. Contacts on his social media accounts recounted his vitriolic hatred for Christian believers; some even blocked and removed him from their pages for that reason.
Devin Kelley was enlisted in the Air Force, but was dishonorably discharged, because he beat his wife and child regularly. These domestic abuse charges should have barred him from being able to pass the background check needed to buy his gun. If the laws in place were enforced properly and the Air Force had not made a clerical error, Kelley would not have been able to purchase the weapon.
The victims ranged all ages and, sadly, included a pregnant woman. This man was violent and unstable, with a hatred for members of the Christian community and a particularly heinous and established cruelty towards women and children.