San Antonio-area shooter who killed 26 was denied license to carry by state

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune and can be viewed here.

The shooter who killed 26 people at a church outside of San Antonio on Sunday tried to get a license to carry a gun in Texas, but was denied by the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told CNN's Chris Cuomo Monday morning.

“So how was it that he was able to get a gun? By all the facts that we seem to know, he was not supposed to have access to a gun,” Abbott said, citing the Texas Department of Public Safety. “So how did this happen?”

In a separate interview Monday on ABC's Good Morning America with George Stephanopoulos, Abbott said he does not believe the deadly church shooting was a "random act of violence."  

"I do believe that maybe you will soon, in a day or two, learn that there was, perhaps, a connection with this particular church," Abbott said. Abbott added that the shooter was very "deranged."

At a press conference on Sunday, law enforcement officials said it was too early to speculate on a motive for the killings. But President Donald Trump said the shooter — who is 26-year-old Devin Kelley of Comal County, the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed in a tweet Monday morning — had "a lot of problems over a long period of time."

"We have a lot of mental health problems in our country — as do other countries — but this isn't a guns situation," Trump said while speaking at an event in Japan. "I mean, we could go into it but it’s a little bit soon to go into it. But, fortunately somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction."

On Sunday, Kelley entered First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and opened fire. The victims range from a 5-year-old to a 72-year-old and included the pastor's 14-year-old daughter. DPS said it would provide more updates on the shooting throughout the day. 

"We're not sure if that number will rise or not," Abbott said Sunday night at a news conference. "This will be a long, suffering mourning for those in pain. These people were innocently gunned down." 

About 20 others were taken to hospitals yesterday with "minor" to "very severe" injuries.  

Officials say when the shooter was confronted by a local resident with a gun, he fled the scene. He was later found dead in his car. The Associated Press reported Sunday that Kelley served in the Air Force but received a bad conduct discharge after he was court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his spouse and child.

 

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