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|“||Everybody die, motherfuckers||„|
|~ -Kelley during the shooting|
Kelley was originally a Baptist, but later converted to Atheism, which grew into Militant Atheism over time.
Kelley was born and raised in New Braunfels, Texas, about 35 miles from Sutherland Springs, and attended New Braunfels High School.
At New Braunfels High, Kelley had a lengthy disciplinary record, which included seven suspensions for "falsifying records, insubordination, profanity and a drug-related offense". One former high school classmate described him as "an outcast but not a loner" who was "popular among other outcasts". However, a martial arts instructor who taught Kelley during that time said Kelley signed up for his class because he was being bullied and that he did not fit in. Kelley graduated in 2009 with a 2.32 grade-point average and a ranking of 260 out of 393 students in his class. A close friend from middle school through high school recalled "he wasn't always a 'psychopath' though" and that "over the years we all saw him change into something that he wasn't".
After graduating, Kelley enlisted in the United States Air Force. He served in logistics readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2009 until 2014. He married in April 2011.In October 2012, he was charged with assaulting his wife and fracturing his toddler stepson's skull. In response, Kelley made death threats against the superior officers who charged him, and he was caught sneaking firearms onto Holloman Air Force Base. Around that same time, he made threats of self-harm to a coworker. He was then admitted to Peak Behavioral Health Services, a mental health facility in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.
In June 2012, Kelley escaped from Peak Behavioral Health Services but was soon apprehended ten miles away at a bus terminal in El Paso, Texas. The facility's director of military affairs later recalled that Kelley had stayed at the facility for several weeks, until he was brought to court-martial. While there, he had expressed a desire for "some kind of retribution to his chain of command" and was discovered to have used computers to order "weapons and tactical gear to a P.O. box in San Antonio".
Kelley and his wife divorced in October 2012. In an interview with Inside Edition, his ex-wife said she lived in constant fear of him, as their marriage was filled with abuse. He once threatened her at gunpoint over a speeding ticket, and later threatened to kill her and her entire family.
Kelley was brought before a general court-martial on four charges: assault on his wife, aggravated assault on his stepson, two charges of pointing a loaded gun at his wife, and two counts of threatening his wife with an unloaded gun. In November 2012, Kelley pleaded guilty to two counts of Article 128 UCMJ, for the assault of his wife and stepson. In return, the weapons charges were dropped. He was sentenced to 12 months of confinement and a reduction in rank to Airman Basic. He appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, but was unsuccessful. In 2014, he was dismissed from the Air Force with a bad conduct discharge.
List of victims
- Keith Braden - February 11, 1955 (62 years)
- Robert Corrigan - May 23, 1966 (51 years)
- Shani Corrigan - June 3, 1966 (51 years)
- Emily Garcia - February 27, 2010 (7 years)
- Emily Hill - March 14, 2006 (11 years)
- Megan Hill - August 28, 2008 (9 years)
- Gregory Hill - July 10, 2004 (13 years)
- Crystal Holcombe - February 9, 1981 (36 years)
- John Bryan Holcombe - December 8, 1956 (60 years)
- Karla Holcombe - May 10, 1959 (58 years)
- Marc Holcombe - August 12, 1981 (36 years)
- Noah Holcombe - May 17, 2016 (1 year)
- Haley Krueger - July 2, 2001 (16 years)
- Karen Marshall - 1961 (56-55 years)
- Robert Marshall - 1961 (56-55 years)
- Tara McNulty - August 30, 1984 (33 years)
- Annabelle Pomeroy - October 21, 2003 (14 years)
- Therese Rodriguez - February 27, 1951 (66 years)
- Ricardo Rodriguez - September 18, 1953 (64 years)
- Brooke Ward - August 19, 2012 (5 years)
- Joann Ward - August 19, 1987 (30 years)
- Peggy Warden - December 24, 1960 (56 years)
- Lula White - July 2, 1946 (71 years)
- Unborn Baby