BFF-11 Texas family sues US government after mass shooting

ZCZC

BFF-11

US-CRIME-TEXAS-SHOOTING

Texas family sues US government after mass shooting

CHICAGO, June 9, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – A family that lost three generations at a
Texas church mass shooting in November filed a lawsuit Friday against the US
government, claiming it could have prevented the gunman from legally
acquiring firearms.

Devin Patrick Kelley, who had a history of domestic abuse and mental health
problems, killed 26 people and wounded 20 others at the First Baptist Church
in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The victims included one-year-old Noah Holcombe and his aunt 36-year-old
Crystal Holcombe, who was pregnant and died along with three of her five
children. In all, the Holcombe family counted nine members who perished in
the attack.

The lawsuit was filed by Joe and Claryce Holcombe, who are in their mid-80s
and lost their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Kelley had legally purchased weapons even though convicted felons are
usually not allowed to own guns. Licensed sellers are supposed to check
national databases prior to completing a purchase.

But Kelley was able to slip through the background check system, because
the US Air Force had not reported his two domestic violence convictions from
five years earlier.

“The utterly careless and reckless failures of the US Air Force to satisfy
their reporting obligations… resulted in numerous missed opportunities for
various local law enforcement agencies to prevent further violence by
Kelley,” the lawsuit claimed.

Kelley — killed by an armed bystander who engaged him in a firefight —
was convicted by court-martial in 2012 of two charges of assault against his
wife and stepson, and received a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force in
2014.

In a subsequent review, the Air Force found dozens of other cases in which
criminal convictions had not been properly reported to law enforcement
databases.

The Pentagon’s Inspector General revealed in December that an evaluation of
military police across all the services found that they often failed to
update a federal database with the fingerprints and outcomes of military
criminal convictions.

The US Air Force did not immediately return a request for comment regarding
the lawsuit.

BSS/AFP/AU/08:10 hrs