Before a gunman entered a rural Texas church with a ballistic vest and a military-style rifle, killing at least 26 people on Sunday, he was convicted of assaulting his wife and breaking his infant stepson’s skull.
In 2012, while stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Devin P. Kelley, 26, was charged with “assault on his spouse and assault on their child,” according to the Air Force.
“He assaulted his stepson severely enough that he fractured his skull, and he also assaulted his wife,” said Don Christensen, a retired colonel who was the chief prosecutor for the Air Force. “He pled to intentionally doing it.”
He was sentenced in November of that year to 12 months’ confinement and reduction to the lowest possible rank. After his confinement, he was discharged from the military with a bad conduct discharge. It is unclear whether his conviction would have barred him from purchasing a gun.
The case marked a long downward slide that included divorce and being charged with animal cruelty.
After Sunday’s shooting, friends from New Braunfels, Tex., where he went to high school, expressed shock, remembering how Mr. Kelley was a friendly, if awkward, teenager who in recent years grew so dark that many unfriended him on Facebook.[contentcards url=”https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/06/us/devin-patrick-kelley-texas.html” target=”_blank”]