The gunman who killed 26 people and injured 20 others in a church shooting on Sunday was denied a gun permit in the state of Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott said.
Texas law enforcement officials informed Abbott that the suspected shooter, identified as 26-year-old Devin Kelley, was denied the right to carry in the Lone Star State either because he didn’t answer all of the questions on the application or he “answered those questions wrong,” the governor said in an interview on Fox News Monday morning.
ABBOTT: "Devin Kelley sought to get a license to carry a gun in the state of Texas, but the State of Texas denied him the ability to get a gun."
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) November 6, 2017
Kelley was shot by a neighbor before he got into his car, which may be the reason why he ended up dropping his weapon, Abbott said. But, it is unclear if he died from the neighbor’s gunshot or a self-inflicted wound, Abbott said.
The local resident who confronted Kelley reportedly grabbed his rifle and engaged Kelley, causing him to get into his car and drive off before being cornered by depities. The neighbor has yet to be identified.
Kelley was able to purchase the assault rifle used in the shooting despite that a law restricting guns from people convicted of domestic violence, ABC News reported. In 2012, Kelley was court martialed on charges of assault on his wife and child.
Kelley, who served in the Air Force from 2010 to 2014, was able to purchase the Ruger model AR-556 rifle used in the shooting at a sporting goods store in San Antonio in April 2016, ABC News reported, citing a law enforcement official.
While Abbott said visiting the small town of Sutherland Springs after the shooting was the “heaviest moment” he ever had to deal with as a governor, he was struck by how the families of the victims continued to rely on their “unwavering faith.”
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 6, 2017
Abbott said he was inspired “to see the resilience and resolve and their determination to continue to connect with God.”
The residents of the rural town figured it would be the “last place” for a tragedy of this magnitude to strike, because of its small size of just a few hundred citizens, Abbott said.
Abbott said he believes that there was a connection between the shooter and the church.
“I don’t think the church was randomly attacked,” he said.
(H/T: Fox News)