SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — The first wife of the Texas church shooter described him as a menacing and abusive man who constantly threatened her and her family with death.
Devin Patrick Kelley carried out the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history on Sunday, killing 25 people and an unborn child at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, near San Antonio.
In an interview Friday with the TV show “Inside Edition,” Kelley’s ex-wife, Tessa Brennaman, 25, said her life was filled with abuse when she was married to him.
Brennaman recounted one instance when she got a speeding ticket and Kelley pulled a gun out of his holster, pointed it at her and asked, “Do you want to die? Do you want to die?’ ”
“He just had a lot of demons or hatred inside of him,” she told the television show.
Public records show that Kelley married Tessa Kelley in 2011 and they divorced in 2012.
Kelley served in logistics readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge for assaulting his then-wife and stepson.
Kelley initially faced multiple charges, according to military records. They included assault and battery against his spouse, aggravated assault against his stepson and four charges involving firearms, including two of pointing a loaded firearm at his wife and two of pointing an unloaded firearm.
Military prosecutors dropped the firearms charges before trial in an agreement in which Kelley pleaded guilty to aggravated assault against the child and assault against his wife.
As part of his plea, Kelley admitted to hitting his stepson on the head and body “with a force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm.”
Kelley also admitted to hitting his then-wife, kicking her, choking her and pulling her hair.
The Air Force did not provide a date of the discharge, but his military record indicates he left the service in May 2014.
The Air Force acknowledged it did not relay the killer’s court-martial conviction for domestic assault to civilian law enforcement.
The failure to relay the information prevented the entry of his conviction into the federal database that must be checked before someone is able to purchase a firearm. If his information been in the database, it should have prevented gun sales to Kelley.