The suspect in the Sutherland Springs mass shooting was no stranger to law enforcement.
New documents obtained by KENS 5 are raising questions about how Devin Kelley was able to gain access to guns. The documents reveal that Kelley spent time in a mental institution and has made death threats before.
Also, the Comal County Sheriff’s Office says that they were working on a sexual assault case involving Kelley until he moved out of state, and that’s when they stopped working on it. Sheriff Mark Reynolds says that the case hasn’t been touched since October 2013 and that it stalled because the suspect moved to Colorado.
"At the time, in 2013, we didn't track cases from beginning to end to find out their status or disposition henceforth,” Sheriff Reynolds said. “After we took office in 2017, our new criminal investigations commander developed an actual system and actual process where we are tracking every case that comes in."
Sheriff Reynolds added that his office is now examining the case, even though Kelley is dead.
Another case in 2014 involved a call to Kelley's residence, where his most recent wife Danielle reported he had abused her. No arrests were made in that case.
Kelley had already served time in a military prison for beating his first wife and her child.
A spokesperson with the FBI provided KENS 5 with a statement which read, in part:
"Those domestic violence convictions would have prohibited Kelley from making firearm purchases, but the information was never received for use in any of the three databases."
Those databases alert gun sellers about a potential buyer’s history. The Air Force is acknowledging making a mistake in not reporting the suspect’s history to those databases.
Documents also show that the suspect escaped from a New Mexico mental health facility in 2012.
According to an El Paso police report, officials said that Kelley "suffered from mental disorders and had plans to run from Peak Behavioral Health Services” and that Kelley was a "danger to himself and others as he had already been caught sneaking firearms on to Holloman Air Force Base."
Authorities also noted that they believed Kelley "was attempting to carry out death threats [Kelley] made on his military chain of command."
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