On Monday, the Air Force admitted it failed to enter Devin Kelley’s domestic violence court-martial into a federal database, a database that could have blocked him from buying the AR-15 he purchased and used to kill 26 people at a Texas church on Sunday. Under federal law, Kelley’s conviction should have prevented him from buying weapons, but according to the New York Times, he legally bought four firearms over the years.
The shooter behind Texas’s worst mass shooting in recent history assaulted his wife and toddler stepson in 2012. He cracked the child’s skull and choked, hit and pulled his wife’s hair. He was court-martialed for two counts of Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, assault on his spouse and assault on their child, spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Monday, according to CNN. As a result, Kelley received a bad conduct discharge, confinement for 12 months and a rank reduction.
“The Air Force has launched a review of how the service handled the criminal records of former Airman Devin P. Kelley following his 2012 domestic violence conviction,” the Air Force said in a statement, adding that they were looking into other convictions, to make sure that all have been entered into the national database.
On Monday, police said Kelley may have targeted his estranged wife’s family, who attended the church.
“The suspect’s mother-in-law attended this church,” Freeman Martin, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said on Monday. “We know that he had made threatening texts. [...] It was a domestic situation going on.”
According to the New York Times, Kelley was also investigated on a rape complaint.
Half of the 26 people killed in the massacre were children ―the youngest victims being an 18-month-old and an unborn child.