‘Domestic situation’ led to mass shooting at church, not ‘racial or religious’ beliefs

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas -- During a news conference Monday morning in Texas, authorities revealed that the gunman in the massacre at the First Baptist Church called his father while police were chasing him.

The suspect's mother-in-law attended the church. Authorities said Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, had sent threatening texts to her.

"This was not racially motivated. It wasn't over religious beliefs," said Freeman Martin, Texas Dept. of Public Safety. "A domestic situation was happening in the family."

Investigators did not have information about the estranged wife.

The victims whose lives were taken range in age from 18-months old to 77 years of age. During the news conference, authorities said there were 23 victims inside the church, two outside the church, and one was taken to the hospital and died.

Twenty people were wounded. Six are in stable condition, four in serious condition and ten people remain in critical condition.

Investigators say they will be reviewing video taken at the church. The church records the sermon every Sunday and then posts them on YouTube.

Police said in the news conference that Kelley bought two of his weapons in Colorado and two in Texas. He purchased one per year in 2014, 2015, 2016 2017. The guns were not legally purchased. He did not have a license to carry.

Authorities say Kelley was suspicious to others before he went into the church.
He was wearing a black mask that had a white skull face to it.
He was wearing a ballistic vest with a plate on the front.

As for how Kelley died, police said little, except that they believed he took his life.  Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. said two citizens pursued Kelley, exchanging gunfire before Kelley's vehicle crashed.

"When he dropped his assault rifle, jumped in his Ford Expedition and fled the scene, this good Samaritan,  or Texas hero, flagged down another young man from Seguin, Texas and jumped in his vehicle when they pursued the suspect. We know during that pursuit the suspect used his cell phone to notify his father that he had been shot and didn't think he was going to make it. Subsequently he shot himself... " said Freeman Martin, Texas Dept. of Public Safety.

The sheriff says investigators believe Kelley shot himself after the wreck, but that must be confirmed by a pathologist.

Authorities finished their news conference by closing in prayer.

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Below is the video from the news conference at 10:15 a.m. Monday morning.