As the residents of Sutherland Springs, Texas mourn the loss of 26 victims of the shooting at First Baptist Church, new details emerged about how Devin Kelly carried out the attack.
In recent interview between KSAT, a San Antonio television station, and Rosanne Solis and Joaquin Ramirez revealed how Kelly stalked the pews inside the church.
Solis said congregants screamed and dropped to the floor when Kelly began shooting. Kelly seemed to stop his attack for a moment, only to continue shooting at survivors.
The couple, who were sitting near the entrance of the church at the time of the attack say at first the shooting sounded like firecrackers. Kelly first shot outside the building before entering.
Solis and Ramirez survived the attack by playing dead, reported on the chilling details of the attack.
They say Kelly shot crying babies at point blank range.
CBS DFW reports:
The gunman who killed 26 people at a small-town Texas church went aisle to aisle looking for victims and shot crying babies at point-blank range, a couple who survived the attack said.
[…] In an interview with San Antonio television station KSAT, Solis said congregants began screaming and dropped to the floor. She could see bullets flying into the carpet and fellow worshippers falling down, bloodied, after getting hit.
For a moment, the attacked seemed to stop, and worshippers thought that police had arrived to confront the gunman. But then he entered the church and resumed “shooting hard” at helpless families, Solis said.
The gunman checked each aisle for more victims, including babies who cried out amid the noise and smoke, Ramirez said.
The couple survived by huddling close to the ground and playing dead. Solis was shot in the arm. Ramirez was hit by shrapnel.
About 20 other people were wounded. Investigators collected at least 15 empty magazines that held 30 rounds each at the scene, suggesting the assailant fired at least 450 rounds.
While the country wonders how anyone could commit such a horrific assault in a small, quiet town, investigation has revealed the shooter’s violent, disturbing past.
In fact, Kelly should have never been able to purchase firearms.
According to CBS, Kelly assaulted his ex-wife and fractured her son’s skull in 2012. But the Air Force broke military requirements and failed to inform the FBI of his criminal history.
This, and the fact that he was denied a license to carry a handgun by the State of Texas really raises red flags.
The church pastor’s wife, Sherri Pomeroy, says the congregation was “a very close family,” and “now most of our church family is gone.”
Kelly’s youngest victim on Sunday was just 18 months old.
CBS DFW continues:
If Kelley’s past offenses had been properly shared, they would have prevented him from buying a gun, the Air Force acknowledged Monday.
Investigators also revealed that Kelley had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, a member of the church, before the attack, and that sheriff’s deputies had responded to a domestic violence call in 2014 at his home involving a girlfriend who became his second wife.
[…] In the tiny town of Sutherland Springs, population 400, grieving townspeople reeled from their losses. The dead ranged from 18 months to 77 years old and included multiple members of some families.
“Our church was not comprised of members or parishioners. We were a very close family,” said the pastor’s wife Sherri Pomeroy, who, like her husband, was out of town when the attack happened. “Now most of our church family is gone.”
The couple’s 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy, was among those killed.
Officials say Kelly was in the church for a lengthy period of time, searching for survivors.
What a horrible place to be in… Continue to keep the survivors and those affected in your thoughts and prayers.