As authorities continue to look for a motive in the Sunday church shooting that left 26 dead and dozens injured, some people are coming forward with claims about alleged shooter Devin Kelley, a 26-year-old Air Force veteran.
Some apparent friends and former acquaintances described him as weird, creepy and an outcast, though others said that they never imagined he would be responsible for such a heinous crime.
Many expressed shock at the ruthless murder that unfolded at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, with a few claiming that Kelley was an atheist who fervently posted about his non-belief online, as The Daily Mail reported.
We’ve confirmed Devin Kelley, the #Texas shooter was given a Bad conduct discharge from USAF, reduction in rank and 12-months confinement.
— James LaPorta (@JimLaPorta) November 6, 2017
“He had a kid or two, fairly normal, but kinda quiet and lately seemed depressed. He was the first atheist I met. He went Air Force after high school, got discharged but I don’t know why,” Patrick Boyce, a man who attended New Braunfels High School with the suspected killer, told the outlet.
He continued, “I was just shocked [to hear the news]. Still haven’t quite processed how he could have done that.”
A representative from the New Braunfels Independent School District confirmed to NBC News that Kelley graduated from New Braunfels High School in 2009.
So were just gonna ignore the fact that we went to school with Devin Kelley, the gun men in Springfield? 😲😲😲😲😲
A woman named Nina Rose Nava, who purportedly went to school with Kelley, also mentioned Kelley’s atheism in a Facebook post, writing that he was “always talking about how people who believe in God were stupid” and added that he was also always “trying to preach his atheism.”
Then, Michael Goff responded to Nava’s post, writing, “He was weird but never that damn weird, always posting his Atheist s*** like Nina wrote, but damn he always posted pics of him and his baby — crazy.”
These comments came as a picture of the suspected gunmen is beginning to form. The U.S. Air Force has confirmed that Kelley did serve at Holloman Air Force base in New Mexico beginning in 2010, and that he was court-martialed in 2012.
It is unclear when he was discharged on bad conduct, though he was found in violation of Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice over purported assault of his spouse and child, CNN reported. He served a one-year detention sentence.
Authorities are still looking for a motive that allegedly led Kelley to enter First Baptist Church and commit the unthinkable. According to NBC News, he went into the house of worship on Sunday “ready for war” and donning a ballistics vest and black tactical gear as well as a rifle.
Kelley fled the church after the rampage when a neighbor approached with his own gun as Kelley was leaving the building. After a chase, Kelley was found dead in his car about eight miles away from the church, the outlet noted.
The Daily Mail reported that Kelley was married to a woman named Danielle Shields and that the two have a child together. The outlet also said that she was a teacher at First Baptist Church at some point and that her mother, Michelle Shields, was or is a parishioner at the church. But it is unclear if they were inside at the time of the shooting.
Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.