The Texas church shooter who mercilessly shot dead 26 people and injured 24 others was an ‘outcast’ who ‘preached his atheism’ online.
Former classmates say Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, who stormed First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas and opened fire on Sunday, was ‘creepy’, ‘crazy’ and ‘weird’.
Patrick Boyce, who attended New Braunfels High School with the killer, said ‘He had a kid or two, fairly normal, but kinda quiet and lately seemed depressed.
‘He was the first atheist I met. He went Air Force after high school, got discharged but I don’t know why.
‘I was just shocked [to hear the news]. Still haven’t quite processed how he could have done that.’
Nina Rose Nava, who went to school with the gunman, wrote on Facebook: ‘In (sic) in complete shock! I legit just deleted him off my fb cause I couldn’t stand his post.
‘He was always talking about how people who believe in God we’re stupid and trying to preach his atheism’
Christopher Leo Longoria replied: ‘I removed him off FB for those same reasons! He was being super nagtive (sic) all the timd (sic).’
Michael Goff added: ‘He was weird but never that damn weird, always posting his atheist sh** like Nina wrote, but damn he always posted pics of him and his baby – crazy.’
Nava added : ‘I went to school with him. We had a few conversations here and there. It’s not something I expected from him.
‘He was an outcast but not a loner. He was popular among other outcast. I haven’t spoke to him since high school.’
Another former classmate, who asked to remain anonymous, said: ‘I grew up going to school with him… Always creeped me out and was different.’
She said she moved away from the area while she was in junior high and lost touch with a lot of people.
However, Kelley recently commented on one of her Facebook posts.
‘I said I just want to move back to Texas,’ she said. ‘And he said something along the lines of “Texas isn’t any better”. Pretty much said he didn’t like Texas.
‘I think he had one kid, she/he is still a baby. He was married but I don’t know to who. It’s crazy to think I grew up with him. Same town. Same school. Same classes.
‘He was different in school and creeped me out but never would I have thought he would do such a horrific thing.’
A former friend, who also asked not to be named, wrote on Facebook: ‘It’s scary to know this psychopath has been in my house. I can’t believe I was friends with this guy and I literally would stay the night at his place when we were kids.’
He added: ‘I ended up distancing myself from him in high school after he got in an argument with me in school and he tried punching me several times. Dude was crazy man.’
Cord Eubank Brown wrote on social media: ‘I cannot believe this. I went to high school with this maniac.
‘There were people I knew who stayed away from this guy for many reasons, which all make sense now. He just requested me on facebook recently.’
Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on Sunday, dressed in black, tactical gear with a ballistics belt and an assault rifle, and began shooting, according to local law enforcement sources.
The attack only stopped when Kelley was tackled by a heroic local man who shot back at the mass shooter as he left the church.
Kelley, 26, of New Braunfels, a suburb of San Antonio, fled in his SUV but the unnamed neighbor, and another local man, had given chase.
Eventually, Kelley lost control of his car and swerved off the road near county lines on the 539 county road, in Guadalupe County, and was reportedly shot dead by the neighbor.
He was found deceased by the cops who also discovered multiple weapons and possible explosives in his vehicle.
San Antonio police also raided Kelley’s home on Sunday evening, with K9 and bomb squad units.
Kelley, who was married, had recently posted a photo of an AR-15 style gun on his Facebook page with the caption: ‘She’s a bad b***h.’
A LinkedIn account which appears to be Kelley’s states that he joined the US Air Force after graduating New Braunfels High School in 2009.
An Air Force official said the gunman was court-martialed in 2012 and discharged two years later.
Spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Kelley was court-martialed on one count of assault on his spouse and another count of assault on their child. He received a bad conduct discharge, 12 months’ confinement and a reduction in rank.
Stefanek also said Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge.
Kelley volunteered as a teacher for Bible studies at Kingsville First Baptist Church, according to his LinkedIn which shows him posing which a young child.
First Baptist Church Pastor Frank Pomeroy told ABC that his 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy, is among the 26 dead. She ‘was one very beautiful, special child,’ the pastor said. His wife, Sherri Pomeroy, said her husband was out of town at the time of the shooting.