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US Air Force missed four chances to stop Texas shooter buying guns

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The U.S. Air Force missed four chances to block the shooter in 2017’s deadly church attack in Texas from buying guns after he was accused of violent crimes while in the military, a report by the Department of Defense’s inspector general said on Friday.

Because the Air Force failed to submit Devin Kelley’s fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the former airman was able to clear background checks to buy the guns he used to kill 26 people at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

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A Reuters investigation last year found that the Air Force missed multiple chances to submit Kelly’s fingerprints into the FBI’s criminal databases after the November 2017 attack.

Kelley, who was 26, was shot by a bystander as he fled and was found dead soon after, having shot himself in the head.

According to the inspector general’s report, the first missed chance came in June 2011, after the Air Force Office of Special Investigations began investigating a report of Kelley beating his stepson while Kelley served at a base in New Mexico.

The second chance came in February 2012, after the Air Force learned of allegations that Kelley was also beating his wife, the report said.

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The third was in June 2012, when Kelley confessed on video to injuring his stepson, the report said.

The fourth was after Kelley’s court-martial conviction for the assaults in November 2013.

“If Kelley’s fingerprints were submitted to the FBI, he would have been prohibited from purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer,” the inspector general’s report said.

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Each missed instance was a breach of Department of Defense policy, the report said. Multiple Air Force officials involved in Kelley’s case did not understand these policies or were unable to explain why they were not followed in interviews with the inspector general’s office.

The inspector general recommended that the Air Force improve its training of staff on submitting fingerprints and examine whether officials involved in Kelley’s case should face discipline.

Previous inspector general reports have found widespread lapses in the military’s reporting of criminal histories to the FBI going back years.

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The Air Force agreed with the inspector general’s findings and said they matched the conclusions of its own investigation last year, a spokeswoman said. The Air Force said it has been correcting other instances where it failed to submit fingerprints to the FBI going back to 1998.

Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by David Gregorio


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Edward Snowden responds after Trump DOJ sues whistleblower over new memoir the US government ‘does not want you to read’

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The Justice Department filed suit the day Snowden's memoir Permanent Record was published.

Citing what First Amendment advocates have called an "unconstitutional" system of controlling what federal employees can and cannot say about their work, President Donald Trump's Justice Department on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden over the publication of his new memoir.

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Corey Lewandowski eventually proved Trump obstructed justice: former US attorney

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Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance explained in her appearance on MSNBC Tuesday that Corey Lewandowski's attempts to plead "hatchetman privilege" weren't successful. He ultimately outed Trump for breaking the law.

Lewandowski attempted to claim that he couldn't answer any questions about special counsel Robert Mueller's account because he hadn't read it. But the information he personally gave to Mueller was enough to corner both men.

"I mean, Donald Trump has been found to have committed felony finance crimes by the Southern District of New York. Donald Trump has been found -- committed ten acts of criminal obstruction of justice by Robert Mueller and his investigators," host Nicolle Wallace said. "And I think what Ron was just sort of pulling the curtain back on is his suspicion that that may not be the headline, that Corey Lewandowski today confirmed at least two of those instances of criminal obstruction of justice."

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‘Continuing cover-up’: Top House Democrat catches Lewandowski making statement that differs from Mueller Report

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"The American people deserve to know the truth."

A top House Democrat appears to have caught former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski making a statement that differs with a fact in the Mueller report. Lewandowski has spent several hours stonewalling, obfuscating, and doing his best to disrupt the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday in what is the first official House impeachment inquiry hearing.

"You stated earlier today that President Trump asked you to take dictation 'many times.' Is that correct?" Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) asked Lewandowski.

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