The Latest: Cruz lauds citizen who confronted gunman

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the church shooting in Texas (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz says that the “bravery and courage” of a citizen who shot back at the gunman in the Texas church attack should be celebrated.

The Republican senator from Texas spoke after talking to law enforcement officials and visiting the church in Sutherland Springs where Devin Kelley killed 26 people and wounded about 20 more.

When a reporter asked Cruz about gun control, he noted the recent terrorist attack with a truck in New York and said “Evil is evil.”

He then lauded the “ordinary citizen” who engaged the gunman. Cruz says that law enforcement officers showed him where the citizen hid behind a car and took incoming shots from the gunman.

Cruz said he asked law enforcement what would have happened if the citizen had not used his own gun to confront Kelley. Cruz said they responded that the death toll would have been higher.

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2:45 p.m.

The gunman in a mass shooting at a Texas church had been arrested for animal cruelty in Colorado in 2014.

An El Paso County Sheriff’s Office affidavit says deputies arrested Devin Patrick Kelley at a Colorado Springs RV park where he lived.

One neighbor told a deputy that Kelley chased the young Husky, jumped on top of it and struck the dog with a closed fist several times. Another neighbor says Kelley grabbed the dog, threw it into the air, then onto the ground and dragged it to his camper.

Kelley initially refused to leave the camper to speak with officers in the Aug. 1, 2014 incident. He denied abusing the dog.

Officers arrested Kelley for misdemeanor animal cruelty and took the Husky to a veterinary center.

Kelley was given a deferred probationary sentence and was ordered to pay $368 in restitution. He complied with the sentence.

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2:40 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, will travel to Texas on Wednesday to meet with those affected by Sunday’s church shooting.

Announcing his travel plans in a tweet, Pence says he will visit family members of those killed, those injured in the attack, and first responders in Sutherland Springs.

Pence says, “We are with you Texas.”

At least 26 people were killed Sunday by a lone gunman, identified by police as Devin Kelley, and about 20 more were wounded.

President Donald Trump is in the midst of a 12-day trip to Asia.

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2:20 p.m.

The wife of the First Baptist Church pastor says it gives her “a sliver of encouragement” that their 14-year-old daughter was surrounded by her church family when she died in the shooting.

Sherri Pomeroy says Annabelle Pomeroy was with “the church family that she loved fiercely and vice versa.”

Pastor Frank Pomeroy and Sherri Pomeroy were out of town when the gunman opened fire Sunday at the church in Sutherland Springs, killing 26 people and wounding about 20. The gunman was later found dead in his vehicle.

Speaking at a news conference Monday, Sherri Pomeroy said, “Our church was not comprised of members or parishioners. We were a very close family.” She added: “Now most of our church family is gone.”

She said that her daughter, who she called Belle, would have struggled to deal with losing so many people.

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12:20 p.m.

Authorities in Texas say law enforcement went to the home of the suspected church gunman three years ago to investigate a domestic violence complaint involving him and his then-girlfriend.

The gunman, identified as 26-year-old Devin Kelley left 26 dead and 20 others injured in what is being described as the worst mass shooting in Texas history.

 

Paul Anthony, a spokesman for the Comal County district attorney’s office, told The Associated Press that sheriff’s deputies were called just after 10 p.m. on Feb. 1, 2014, to the New Braunfels home of Devin Patrick Kelley and his family.

Citing a sheriff’s office report, Anthony says a friend of Kelley’s girlfriend told authorities she received a text message from the girlfriend that indicated “her boyfriend was abusing her.” When sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home, they were told by people in the house that there was no problem.

No arrests were made. Kelley married Danielle Shields two months later.

Kelley was discharged from the Air Force the same year after being punished for allegedly assaulting his spouse and child.

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11:25 a.m.

The special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives field office in Houston says three guns have been recovered from the suspect in the deadly church shootings in Texas.

Fred Milanowski said during a news conference Monday that officers recovered a Ruger AR-556 rifle at the church.

Milanowski said two additional handguns were recovered from the vehicle driven by Devin Patrick Kelley — a Glock 9mm and a Ruger .22-caliber. Milanowski says all three weapons were purchased by the now-deceased suspect.

Freeman Martin with the Texas Department of Public Safety said Kelley did not have a license to carry a concealed handgun. He says he did have a “noncommissioned, unarmed private security license similar to a security guard at a concert-type situation.”

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11:10 a.m.

Officials say that the 26 people killed in a shooting at a small South Texas church range in age from 18 months to 77 years old.

Freeman Martin, a regional director of the Texas Department of Safety, said Monday that 20 were injured in the shooting Sunday morning at the church in Sutherland Springs. Martin says 10 people were still hospitalized in critical condition.

Martin said those treated in hospitals ranged in age from 5 to 73.

Authorities have said that Devin Patrick Kelley is suspected of killing 26 people during the shooting in Sutherland Springs. He was later found dead.

11 a.m.

Authorities say the gunman who opened fire in a Texas church had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, who attended the church.

Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said Monday that the mass shooting stemmed from a domestic situation and was not racially or religiously motivated.

Authorities say that evidence at the scene leads them to believe that Devin Patrick Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he crashed his car. He had been chased by armed bystanders. Authorities believe Kelley had been shot at the church and dropped his rifle.

They say Kelley also used his cellphone to tell his father that he had been shot and didn’t think he would survive.

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10:10 a.m.

Authorities believe the man suspected of killing 26 people and injuring about 20 others at a Texas church shot himself following a car wreck.

Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. tells CBS News that police found Devin Patrick Kelley dead inside his vehicle Sunday shortly after the shootings in Sutherland Springs.

Tackitt says Kelley was being pursued by two community members and investigators believe gunfire was exchanged before Kelley’s vehicle crashed.

The sheriff says investigators believe Kelley shot himself after the wreck.

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10 a.m.

The man suspected of killing 26 people and injuring about 20 more at a Texas church had previously been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty in east-central Colorado.

Court records in El Paso County indicate Devin Patrick Kelley was cited on Aug. 1, 2014, when he lived in a mobile home park near Colorado Springs. He was given a deferred probationary sentence and was ordered to pay $368 in restitution. The charge was dismissed in March 2016 after Kelley completed his sentence.

The Denver Post reports court records indicate someone was granted a protection order against Kelley on Jan. 15, 2015, also in El Paso County.

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9:50 a.m.

A manager at a vacation resort says the gunman who opened fire at a Texas church worked for the resort as security guard.

Claudia Varjabedian is a manager at the Summit Vacation Resort in New Braunfels. She told The Associated Press on Monday that Devin Patrick Kelley had been working there the past month and a half.

She says Kelley “seemed like a nice guy” and didn’t give her any problems. She said he worked unarmed on his shift as the day security guard.

The riverside resort in the Texas Hill Country is near Kelley’s apparent home off a rural highway. Sheriff’s deputies were still blocking the gate to his property Monday morning.

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9:35 a.m.

Several people remain hospitalized after a shooting at a South Texas church that killed 26 and injured more than 20 others.

An official with University Health System in San Antonio said five people remained hospitalized Monday — three children and two adults. Martha Rendon (ren-DOHN’) says the patients range in age from 4 to 57 years old, with their conditions listed as being from serious to critical.

Rendon also says one of the victims who died Sunday was a pediatric patient that had been transported to the hospital. She declined to release further details on the child.

A spokeswoman for Connally Memorial Medical Center in Floresville said one person was listed in stable condition Monday. Megan Posey declined to release additional details on the patient.

Officials with Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, which received eight patients on Sunday, did not immediately provide an update Monday.

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8:35 a.m.

Officials in Texas have confirmed the identity of the man suspected of killing 26 people at a South Texas church.

The Texas Department of Public Safety on Monday morning said 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley is the suspect. DPS said that Kelley lived in New Braunfels, which is about 35 miles north of the Sutherland Springs church where the shooting occurred.

A short time after the shooting Sunday, the suspect was found dead in his vehicle at the county line.

On Sunday, two officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity had identified the gunman as Kelley.

DPS says more information will be released later Monday.

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This story corrects the spelling of Kelley in one reference.

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8:20 a.m.

A South Carolina musician with a similar name as the man identified as the gunman in a mass shooting at a Texas church says he’s frustrated by hateful message he’s received online.

Devin Patrick said on his Facebook page late Sunday that he’s saddened by the shooting but at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. But Patrick says his only connection with the tragedy is his name and asks people not to contact him about the shooting.

Authorities have identified the gunman as Devin Patrick Kelley. Officials say 26 people were killed Sunday in an attack that claimed people ranging in age from 5 to 72 years old.

Authorities said about 20 others were wounded. The suspect was later found dead in his vehicle.

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8:10 a.m.

School districts surrounding a South Texas town where a gunman killed 26 people at a church have added counselors to help comfort children, their families and staff.

Sutherland Springs is a town of about 400 that does not have its own school. Nearby districts offered messages of caring and concern Monday, a day after the gunfire. Officials say the victims ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old.

Superintendent Sherri Bays, of the Floresville Independent School District, wrote: “Our hearts are breaking for the families of the deceased and injured.”

District spokeswoman Kim Cathey says some Sutherland Springs children attend Floresville ISD schools. Cathey had no immediate information on whether any victims were from the district.

Similar messages of prayers and support were offered by the Stockdale ISD and the La Vernia ISD.

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7:45 a.m.

A sheriff says the former in-laws of a man suspected of killing 26 people at a Texas church attended services there “from time to time.”

Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. told CNN Monday morning that the former in-laws weren’t in attendance Sunday when the shooting occurred. He says it wasn’t clear why the gunman picked that day for the shooting.

The mass shooting occurred Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio. About 20 others were wounded in the attack.

Two officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity identified the gunman as Devin Kelley. An Air Force spokeswoman said records confirm Kelley received a bad conduct discharge after being court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his spouse and child.

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7:05 a.m.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is suggesting there may have been a connection between the gunman who shot and killed 26 people in a South Texas community and the Baptist church where the slayings happened.

Abbott tells ABC’s “Good Morning America” he expects people will learn about any such link “in a few days.” He said he didn’t want to go further, saying “law enforcement is looking very aggressively into this.”

“I don’t think this was just a random act of violence,” Abbott told anchor George Stephanopoulos. But when pressed to elaborate on his connection theory, the governor replied that “it’s very important that law enforcement have the ability … to tie the loose ends of this investigation up.”

He called the man, identified by a U.S. official and one in law enforcement as Devin Kelley, “a very deranged individual.”

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3:30 a.m.

Authorities say a gunman armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside a small South Texas church, killing 26 people who ranged in age from 5 to 72.

The mass shooting occurred Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio. About 20 others were wounded in the attack.

Two officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity identified the gunman as Devin Kelley. An Air Force spokeswoman said records confirm Kelley received a bad conduct discharge after being court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his spouse and child.

Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. described the scene inside the church as “terrible.”

Investigators have not yet determined a motive for the attack.

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