Texas shooter's uncle, from Washington, calls nephew a 'coward'

Texas shooter's uncle, from Washington, calls nephew a 'coward'

Authorities have dug into Devin Kelley's past to discover that the mass murderer who killed 26 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday escaped a mental institution in New Mexico in 2012 when he was serving in the Air Force. Indications suggest that Kelley might've been trying to carry out death threats he made against his superior officers at the time.

The U.S. armed forces are required to report dishonorable discharges and misdemeanor assault charges to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System, that in turn would alert a firearms seller to deny purchase to any such offender.

The Air Force confirmed Tuesday that Kelley had been treated in the facility after he was placed under pretrial confinement stemming from a court-martial on charges that he assaulted his then-wife and hit her child hard enough to fracture the boy's skull.

Had Kelley been convicted of sexual assault, he would likely have been prevented from purchasing a gun because federal guidelines prohibit sales to anyone convicted of a felony punishable by more than one year in prison.

"We have initiated a review in the Air Force to figure out why his fingerprint records were not transferred to the database", she said.

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Someone had informed El Paso police that Kelley "suffered from mental disorders and had plans to run from" the mental health center to "take a bus out of state", the El Paso police report said.

The incident reportedly happened months after Kelley was charged with abusing his wife and stepson.

The air force has opened an inquiry into the matter, and the U.S. Defense Department has requested a review by its inspector general to ensure other criminal cases have been reported correctly, Pentagon officials said. Investigators have no reason to believe anyone conspired with Kelley, who acted alone, said Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin.

The authorities have said that Kelley's rampage may have stemmed from a "domestic situation" and that he sent threatening texts to his mother-in-law.

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