Gun store owner says church shooting suspect passed two background checks

Though the shooter should not have been able to purchase a gun, he did-- and legally.

Authorities say that Sutherland Springs mass shooting suspect Devin Kelley brought four guns a year since 2014 and that two were bought at San Antonio Academy stores.

Law enforcement officials confirmed that Kelley should not have been able to buy any of those guns in the first place.

“I could not imagine something worse happening to myself or anybody I know,” said Jeff Lepp, owner of Specialty Sports and Supply in Colorado Springs who sold Kelley two firearms a year apart.

Lepp says that Kelley passed a background check both times.

“We deal with a lot of people. This gentleman, turns out, brought two firearms from us a year apart,” Lepp said. “I have no clue as to who he was. His picture was sent to me. I have no idea who he was. I didn’t recognize him at all.”

Lepp noted that the gun used in the shooting was not either of the ones purchased from his store.

“You never want to sell something to someone that will commit any form of crime, let alone a mass murder like this,” Lepp said.

Kelley’s background is now what authorities are looking at. The Air Force is investigating how the service handled the criminal records of the former airman. Air Force officials say that his domestic violence conviction in 2012 was not entered into the National Criminal Information Center Database.

Had Kelley’s convictions been entered, Lepp says that he would have not passed the background checks in Colorado.

“There needs to be a way to solve the issue of whatever it was that caused this to disappear,” Lepp said.

The Air Force is currently in the process of checking whether Kelley’s records in other cases have been reported incorrectly. But for Lepp, the pain the small town of Sutherland Springs is going through is something he feels even from far away.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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