The Texas Shooting Shows That Domestic Violence Is A National Security Issue

The gunman who killed 26 people at a Texas church last weekend escaped a mental health facility in 2012 and made death threats to his superiors in the U.S. Air Force, according to newly revealed El Paso, Texas, police records.

The Air Force is required by the Pentagon to report criminal behavior like Kelley's to the Federal Bureau of Investigation but failed to do so, according to the release.

Two U.S. senators, Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona and Democratic Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, said they planned to co-sponsor legislation aimed at ensuring that anyone convicted of domestic violence, whether in civilian or military court, would be blocked from legally purchasing a gun.

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More information has emerged since the shooting of Kelley's risky behaviour, with the US Air Force acknowledging it did not share information about the shooter's court-martial conviction for domestic assault with civilian law enforcement agencies.

Prior to the massacre, Kelley was court-martialed from the Air Force and spent time in military prison after he was charged with assaulting his wife and stepson.

The El Paso report notes that Kelley was committed to a mental health facility in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, but at some point escaped and was later found by police at a bus station in downtown El Paso in June 2012.

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The Comal County Sheriff's Office also announced Tuesday that gunman Devin Kelley had been accused of sexual assault in 2013, though the case was dropped.

Kelley, 26, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sunday after killing 26 people and injuring 20 with an assault rifle at a church in the small Texas town of Sutherland Springs. Deputies were called to the same house in February 2014 to investigate a domestic violence report involving Kelley and Danielle Shields, his girlfriend at the time, whom he married two months later.

He had been sent to the hospital after beating his ex-wife and her child in 2012 while stationed at Holloman Air Force Base, but was able to escape and flee the state to Texas in 2012. He was denied a concealed carry license in Texas for unclear reasons.

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