Texas gunman Daniel Patrick Kelly’s dark past of animal abuse, child abuse, and harassing his ex-girlfriend is coming out.
In addition, he sent threatening text messages to his mother in law, who attended the Church where his rampage took place.
As reported in Reuters
Years before he walked into a Texas church and gunned down 26 Sunday worshippers, Devin Kelley proved capable of fearsome violence, convicted of fracturing his infant stepson’s skull and accused of beating his dog with his fists.
In 2012, while stationed at an Air Force base in New Mexico, Kelley was court-martialed and sentenced to a year’s confinement for abusing his wife and child. The Air Force’s chief prosecutor at the time told the New York Times and NBC News that Kelley broke his stepson’s skull.
Two years later, soon after he was given a bad conduct discharge for his crime, Kelley was cited for animal cruelty after neighbours told police he viciously punched his dog outside his trailer home, according to a report from the El Paso County sheriff’s office. Court records show the case was dismissed after he paid a fine.
His behavioural problems appear to have started much earlier. A former girlfriend said Kelley engaged in years of harassment, bordering on stalking, after a brief relationship nearly a decade ago, and classmates from his Texas hometown described a “loner” who became increasingly disturbed as a teenager.
Domestic problems may have triggered Sunday’s shooting, as well. Authorities said on Monday that he had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, who sometimes attended First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs but was not there on Sunday when Kelley opened fire.
“There was a domestic situation going on within the family and the in-laws,” Freeman Martin, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, told reporters. Kelly was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after fleeing the church.
The former girlfriend, Brittany Adcock, said she dated Kelley nearly a decade ago, when he was 18 and she was only 13.
The relationship lasted for about four months, but Kelley would harass her with phone calls from blocked numbers and Facebook messages from fake accounts for years afterward, she said in an interview.
Adcock said she once called police to try to file a complaint and had to change her number to stop Kelley’s calls.
“He just started getting really weird,” Adcock, now 22, said.