Details are coming in to paint a clearer picture of the mass murder at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and the mass murderer, an Air Force veteran who was court martialed and dishonorably discharged.

Other details we know of the killer so far that may begin to paint a profile is that he was an atheist, which typically indicates far left.

Devin P. Kelley, who was court martialed from the U.S. Air Force, was identifiedas the gunman who walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday morning and murdered at least 26 people, wounding many more in the tiny, rural community near San Antonio, reports heavy.com.

The shooter’s name was reported through sources by The New York Times and CBS News; the latter gave his name as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, of New Braunfels, Texas and said the Air Force court martial occurred only three years ago. Although the motive was not yet clear, the gunman’s background includes religious school work, but he also liked pages devoted to atheism. The shooter, who is dead, left behind disturbing social media posts, including a Facebook page that showed off a rifle, calling it a “bad b*tch.” (You can see the photo later in this story.)

Authorities revealed that a heroic and unidentified citizen in the church “grabbed his rifle and confronted the suspect,” who was armed with a “Ruger AR assault type rifle.” The local citizen pursued the suspect, who ran off the road and crashed and was found deceased in his vehicle. “We don’t know if it was a self inflicted gunshot wound or if he was shot by our local resident who engaged him with gunfire,” authorities said. It was the largest mass shooting in Texas history.

The horrific mass shooting wounded almost everyone inside the small country church building, which held only about 50 people in the town of only a few hundred people. The victims ranged in age from 5 to 72, authorities said. “This will be a long suffering mourning for those in pain,” said Governor Greg Abbott, confirming that 26 people had died. Authorities would not confirm the suspect’s name, and they said they were investigating, but could not confirm, reports of possible militia ties.

As many as 30 other people were injured, with at least one in critical condition, reported CNN and an ABC producer. A KSAT-TV reporter at the scene said that an “ambu-bus” had responded, which is used to transport multiple victims. Pregnant women and young children were reportedly among the victims, including the 14-year-old daughter of the pastor, who was out of town when the mass shooting occurred. The victims were still not identified, the sheriff said in the evening press conference.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Shooter, Who Showed Off a Photo of a Rifle on Facebook, Once Taught Bible School

Kelley’s Facebook page has now been deleted, but you can see a screenshot of the weapon he posted above. His profile picture showed two small children, which was a chilling juxtaposition next to the semi-automatic rifle that was his cover photo. According to The Daily Beast, “Kelley was married and Kelley’s mother-in-law listed a P.O. box in Sutherland Springs as a mailing address. San Antonio police reportedly raided Kelley’s home on Sunday evening…he briefly taught at a summer Bible school.”

The shooter was described as a “white male in his 20s from outside San Antonio” by Mike Levine, a journalist for ABC News, who reported that law enforcement had uncovered a weapon photo on Kelley’s Facebook page. “Authorities are now scrubbing his social media; on Facebook in recent days, he showed off an AR-15 style-looking gun,” Levine wrote.

‌Devin Kelley’s LinkedIn page says that he was a VBS “teacher aid (sic)” for “VBS AT KINGSVILLE FBC” and notes, “Dates volunteered Jun 2013 – Jun 2013 Volunteer duration 1 mo. Cause Children. Teaching children ages 4-6 at vocational bible schools helping their minds grow and prosper.” However, multiple children are reportedly among those shot in the church. Kelley’s Facebook page also showed that he had liked pages devoted to atheism, as well as those on German Shepherds, Glocks, and karate.

devin kelley facebook

The shooter’s Facebook page.

Kelley had recently shaved a beard, he wrote on Facebook recently.

Reporter Matt Massey wrote that “neighbors say they heard shooter may have reloaded multiple times, around 50 people usually at service.” He reported that at least six helicopters were called in to transport victims.

According to CNN, “The shooter was killed after a brief chase north into neighboring Guadalupe County,” according to Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Robert Murphy.


2. The Gunman, Who Is From Comal County, Once Wrote That He Lived By the Air Force’s ‘Core Values’

The LinkedIn page in the shooter’s name shows that Devin Kelley served in the U.S. Air Force right after high school, from 2009 through 2013. According to The New York Times, Kelley is from Comal County. His motive and why he targeted the Wilson County church remain unclear. Comal County is located northeast of San Antonio, Texas. The Daily Beast reported that Kelley was a “resident of New Braunfels, a suburb of San Antonio.”

Kelley’s LinkedIn page says, under the entry for U.S. Air Force, “Cargo, demand and supply , distribution.” He added, “Basic learning on my contracted job.” The page says he attended New Braunfels High School from 2003 to 2009, receiving his diploma. His LinkedIn page also says, “I am a hard working dedicated person. I live by he (sic) core values on which the Air Force go by.” He identified himself as a “management consulting professional” and said he was CPR certified.

However, CBS News reported that the suspect is former “US Air Force E1 (2010-2014). He received a dishonorable discharge. He was court martialed in May 2014.” The network also wrote, “Kelley is a former U.S. Air Force member who served from 2010 to 2014. He was dishonorably discharged and court martialed in May 2014.”

The scene outside the church was heartbreaking as crying family members of loved ones gathered outside, desperate for information about them, and praying. A local hospital has reported receiving multiple victims. The ATF was responding to the scene, as did the FBI. Authorities had said very little in the hour immediately after the shooting because they were dealing with the mass casualty event. However, just before 6 p.m., the governor and other officials held a news conference.

Texas Governor Abbott condemned the “evil act,” writing on Twitter, “Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act. Our thanks to law enforcement for their response. More details from DPS soon.” CNN reported that a “witness, a cashier at a gas station across the street from the church, said she heard about 20 shots being fired in quick succession while a church service was underway around 11:30 a.m. local time.”


3. The Gunman Was Dressed All in Black & Wrote That He Did Not Fear Death

Devin Kelley’s social media accounts contained other warnings. His Facebook page contained a quote from Mark Twain about not fearing death. “I do not fear death,” it read. “I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

Authorities say the gunman approached the church around 11:20 a.m.: “He was seen dressed in all black. He started firing at the church. He moved to the right side of the church and continued to fire, then he went in the church.” He was “dressed all in black tactical type gear and was wearing a ballistic vest,” said authorities in the press conference. Multiple weapons were found in Kelley’s vehicle, although authorities have not described them. The San Antonio Express-News reported that authorities were checking Kelley’s residence for explosives. It’s not clear what they found.

Witness accounts agreed on this: The male suspect walked into the church and opened fire. “A man in full gear came into the church and unloaded several rounds, and then took off in a vehicle,” a KSAT-TV reporter said in a live report on Facebook Live. The FBI was at the scene after the tragedy unfolded. “Officials say 23 people were found dead inside the church, two outside, one transported and died later,” reported CBS News.

People on Twitter and Facebook wrote within minutes that a man, possibly with an assault rifle, had shot multiple people. People posted frantic messages on social media about loved ones. Witnesses reported that the man walked into the church around 11:30 a.m. Sunday and opened fire, KSAT-TV reported, adding, “The church is located in the 500 block of 4th Street in the small, south Texas town about 40 miles east of San Antonio.” (Recent population figures said the town has only 362 people.)

Assault rifle reports first originated on social media. “Oh my God if you live in Sutherland Springs or Wilson County please go in side and stay safe. My family just called me freaking out because across the street from their house a guy with an assault rifle started shooting in our town church and even shot my brothers house. If ur from my hometown go inside, lock ur doors and so be safe and I love you all,” wrote one woman on Facebook.


4. Multiple Children Were Among the Victims, Including the Pastor’s Teenage Daughter, Who Was Remembered as a ‘Beautiful, Special Child’

The toll on children was horrific, and includes four children shot from a single family, 5-year-old children shot, and an 8-year-old child who hid under a pew.

Pastor Frank Pomeroy oversees the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Pomeroy’s wife, Sherri, told NBC News that her husband was out of town during the shooting, but their daughter was inside. Frank Pomeroy later told ABC News that their daughter, Annabelle, 14, was one of those killed. Pomeroy described Annabelle as “one very beautiful special child” to ABC News. Over and over again, people offering condolences on the Facebook page of the pastor’s wife described Annabelle’s sweet demeanor.“My husband and I were ironically out of town in two different states. We lost our 14-year-old daughter today and many friends,” Sherri Pomeroy said Sunday to CBS News. “Neither of us have made it back into town yet to personally see the devastation. I am at the Charlotte airport trying to get home as soon as I can.”First Baptist Church, of Sutherland Springs, Texas, has posted videos of its services on YouTube. That raises the possibility that the shooting was captured on video, although this is not yet clear.

Read More From Heavy

Pastor Frank Pomeroy: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know


5. People Wrote Frightened Messages on Social Media As News of the Shooting Broke

The news of the shooting broke first on social media as citizens with instant access to a national audience reported that their loved ones were in peril or had witnessed aspects of the shooting or its aftermath. One man said that people he knew were inside the church. He wrote on Facebook, “Just got a call from (named removed) prayers needed for Sutherland Springs community. Someone went into the Baptist Church and shot 15 people. The guy is one the run and they have the roads closed down. (Names removed) were at their church in LaVernia. Please keep prayers going.”

“I’m hearing there was a shooting at the First Baptist Church on 539 near Hartfield Rd in the Sutherland Springs area. Lots of sheriff’s deputies on scene, blocking traffic. EMS from all over Wilson County have been called in. Multiple victims,” one social media user wrote. Another man wrote on Facebook, “A bunch of people have been shot in Sutherland springs . The church and gas station people walked in and started shooting so far herd 15 dead maybe more.” People gathered at a local community center to learn about their loved ones.

Witness, Carrie Matula, told NBC News: “We heard semi-automatic gunfire… we’re only about 50 yards away from this church.”

This article will be updated as more is learned about the mass shooting.