Texas Church Shooter’s Ex-wife Says He Abused, Threatened to Kill Her

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
November 12, 2017 Updated: November 12, 2017

The ex-wife of Devin P. Kelley, the man accused of carrying out the worst mass shooting in Texas state history, said he made threats to kill her and abused her during their relationship.

Tessa Brennaman, 25, told Inside Edition that Kelley, 26, was abusive toward her and threatened to shoot her.

“He just had a lot of demons or hatred inside of him,” Brennaman said. “He had a gun in his holster right here and he took that gun out and he put it to my temple and he told me, ‘Do you want to die? Do you want to die?'”

They got divorced in 2012. In 2013, Kelley pleaded guilty to choking Brennaman, kicking her, and pulling her hair. He also pleaded guilty to charges that he abused her young son.

The U.S. Air Force missed at least two chances to block the shooter in last weekend’s deadly church attack in Texas from buying guns after he was accused of the violence, Reuters reported.

A third opportunity to flag Kelley was lost two years later by a twist of bad luck when a Pentagon inspection of cases narrowly missed the former airman.

The Air Force said on Monday it had failed to provide information as required about Kelley’s criminal history to the FBI’s criminal databases. It gave few other details about the omission.

A review of Department of Defense procedures by Reuters shows that the military should have flagged Kelley twice, then serving at a New Mexico base, after he was accused of repeatedly beating his wife and stepson.

If Pentagon rules had been followed, the Air Force should have put Kelley into national criminal databases used for background checks soon after he was charged.

The Air Force should then have flagged Kelley again later that year after his court-martial conviction for assault, which permanently disqualified him from legally getting a gun.

Epoch Times Photo
An American flag hangs upside down from a home near the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Nov. 6, 2017.  (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“That is what the investigation is looking at now,” Brooke Brzozowske, an Air Force spokeswoman, said. The FBI confirmed it never received Kelley’s records.

Kelley is accused of shooting 26 people inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, before fleeing the scene while being chased by two good Samaritans. He was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The exact motive for the shooting has yet to be determined.

Reuters contributed to this report.



Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.