Judge Says Air Force Primarily Responsible For 2017 Texas Church Shooting

handgun with bullets around

A judge from the Western District of Texas said in his decision given last Tuesday that the United States Air Force for a local shooting incident that happened in 2017.

Faithwire reported that federal Judge Xavier Rodriguez ruled that the U.S. Air Force was 60% responsible for the shooting of 26 people from Texas' Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church four years ago. The judge said said that gunman Patrick Kelly was only 40% responsible for it.

As per the Associated Press, the 26-year-old Kelly walked in the church in black tactical attire and open fired 465 rounds of amunition using an assault rifle on the people who were attending worship service. One of the victims was said to be even pregnant.

Investigations showed that Kelly's motive for the shooting spree was domestic since his mother-in-law attends the church, but she just wasn't there on that particular day. They also showed that Kelly, who died after the pursuit that took place on that day from three gunshots, had a long history of violence against his family and animals. Kelly actually died from a self-inflicted gun shots, one of the three found on his body.

This history of violence Judge Rodriguez pointed out should have been an indicator for the U.S. government to have not issued him a firearm.

Court documents, per Faithwire, reveal that Kelly purchased four guns for the massacre. He was able to purchase these separately since he passed the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

"The trial conclusively established that no other individual--not even Kelley's own parents or partners--knew as much as the United States about the violence that Devin Kelley had threatened to commit and was capable of committing," Rodriguez said in his verdict.

"Moreover, the evidence shows that--had the government done its job and properly reported Kelley's information into the background check system--it is more likely than not that Kelley would have been deterred from carrying out the church shooting.," he stressed.

A look into Kelley's history would show that he was discharged in 2014 from the Air Force after serving for almost half a decade due to bad conduct. Before he was discharged, he was convicted of cracking the skull of his stepson and assaulting his former wife. This felony conviction was not inputted into the FBI database. He treated his former girlfriend similarly with violence before they got married.

Reports show Texas has many fatal shooting incidents including the Starville Methodist Church in Winona that left one dead and many injured. But the Sutherland Springs shooting incident remains to be the worst of its kind that Texas Governor Greg Abbott called in 2017 as the "largest mass shooting in our state's history."