Gunman escaped mental facility
9 November, 2017, 12:00 am
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (Reuters) – The former US serviceman who committed the deadliest mass shooting on record in Texas escaped from a mental hospital in 2012 as he faced court-martial on domestic violence charges for which he was later convicted, a police report revealed on Tuesday.
The report also disclosed that police who were alerted to Devin Kelley’s escape were advised that he posed a “danger to himself and others” after being “caught sneaking firearms” on to the US Air Force base in New Mexico where he was stationed.
The person who reported the escape, according to the report, further warned that Kelley, then aged 21, had been “attempting to carry out death threats” against his military commanders and “suffered from mental disorders.”
He was apprehended without incident at an El Paso, Texas, bus station shortly after he had run off, according to a police report filed in that city.
Kelley’s troubled Air Force background has been a focus of investigators in the tiny Texas town of Sutherland Springs since he stormed into a church there on Sunday with a semi-automatic assault rifle and opened fire on worshipers.
Authorities have said 26 people were killed in the assault, including the unborn child of a pregnant woman who was among the dead. Another 20 people were wounded, half of them still listed in critical condition as of Tuesday.
Officials said Kelley, 26, killed himself during a failed getaway attempt after he was wounded by an armed civilian who tried to stop him. Two handguns belonging to the killer also were recovered.