The U.S. Air Force failed to report the Texas church gunman’s 2012 domestic violence court-martial to an FBI database, wrongly allowing him to pass background checks to buy guns, officials said Monday.
The revelations came as experts wondered how Devin Patrick Kelley had been sold four guns between 2014 and 2017 despite spending a year in military prison and getting kicked out of the Air Force for assaulting his wife and reportedly cracking his stepson’s skull.
He was also accused of repeatedly pointing a gun at her, according to newly released Air Force records, though those allegations were dropped.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” referred to Kelley, who served in the Air Force from 2010 to 2014, as “a very deranged individual” who exhibited signs of mental illness long before he was discharged from the military for “bad conduct” after he was court-martialed for assaulting his wife and their child. He was sentenced to 12 months’ confinement.
Court-martial records released by the Air Force showed that Kelley had been accused of repeatedly hitting, choking and kicking his wife and pulling her hair in 2011 and 2012. He was also accused of pointing a gun at her multiple times, though those charges were dismissed.
The records also include a report that Kelley hit his young child “with a force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm.”
Though Kelley applied for a legal permit to carry a gun in the state of Texas, he was denied that permit, Abbott said. It was after that that he obtained an assault rifle, authorities said.