World Bulletin / News Desk
The Pentagon confirmed Kelley was a member of the U.S. military and served at an Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until 2014 when he received a bad conduct discharge for assaulting his wife and child, according to reports.
"Initial information indicates that Kelley's domestic violence offense was not entered into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database by the Holloman Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations," the Air Force statement said.
The statement said the Air Force will now investigate the handling of Kelley's criminal records together with the Department of Defense.
Kelley, 26, arrived at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday dressed in black tactical gear and wearing a ballistics vest. He was carrying what authorities said was an "assault-type rifle". He opened fire, killing 26 people, many of them children.
A local resident who lived across the street from the church shot Kelley with a rifle as he tried to leave. During a brief chase in which he was pursued by the resident and another, authorities said Kelley phoned his father to say he was shot did not believe he was going to make it.
Kelley was found dead shortly after from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Two handguns were recovered from his vehicle and a rifle was found inside the church where a video recording of the shooting was secured by authorities.
Police have not officially determined a motive, but Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt told NBC News that Kelley’s former in-laws worshipped at the church.
“They were not here yesterday to attend church, but they did come yesterday afternoon to speak to investigators,” he said.
Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin later said there was a “domestic situation” in the family and Kelley sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law.
Kelley’s wife’s grandmother was reportedly among the deceased.
Officials said 23 victims were found dead inside the church, two died outside the church and one died at a hospital. Twenty victims are being treated at local hospitals, with 10 in critical condition.
The victims at hospitals range from 5 - 72 years old. The youngest killed at the church was just 18 months old and the eldest was 77.
Among the dead were eight victims from one family, a grieving relative told The Washington Post. That relative said the victims included an infant.
The shooting occurred about a month after a gunman killed 58 people at a concert in Las Vegas, Nevada, and on the eighth anniversary of a deadly shooting in 2009 that killed 13 in Ft. Hood, Texas, about 150 miles north of Sutherland Springs.
This latest shooting now holds the distinction as the deadliest at a house of worship in U.S. history.