Air Force Head Says Texas Gunman’s Court-Martial Should Have Been Reported

The civilian head of the Air Force said that the military is trying to figure out why a domestic violence offense for the man suspected of killing 26 people at a Texas church wasn’t reported to the FBI — and whether it’s a systemic problem.

Devin Patrick Kelley’s conviction at court-martial for domestic violence in 2012 should have prevented him from legally buying a firearm, officials have said.

“The offenses for which the shooter in Texas was court martialed should have been reported,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said at a Pentagon news conference Thursday. “That’s why we launched a full-scale review of this case and all others like it.”

Kelley, 26, of New Braunfels, Texas, opened fire outside and inside First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on Sunday, killing 26 people, including several children, authorities said.

Kelley’s name should have been entered in the National Criminal Information Center, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a statement Monday, but the special investigations office at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, failed to transmit the domestic violence charges.

Wilson said Thursday that a draft report on why Kelley’s criminal history wasn’t reported is expected to be completed next week. She said the Air Force has interviewed about 100 people associated with the matter since Sunday.

Wilson said a full review of Air Force databases is being conducted to determine whether the problem is systemic. She said one database goes back to 2002 and another to 1996.

A retired Air Force colonel who supervised prosecutors when Kelley was tried, said Kelley was convicted of fracturing his baby stepson’s skull and assaulting his first wife, Tessa, at Holloman.

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