Mass Shooting

Mass Shooting

Church Shooting Outside San Antonio Claims 26 Lives


On November 5, 2017, a 26-year-old man later identified as Devin Patrick Kelley entered a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, a Texas town just outside of San Antonio, and killed at least 26 people in the attack. The shooting began shortly after the Sunday morning service opened at 11 AM. Victims were of very varied backgrounds, from kindergarteners to the elderly. In addition to the 26 dead, the wounded also totaled in the 20s. Kelley died after being chased away from the area by armed locals.


According to police, it is believed Kelley was first spotted at a gas station across the street; he then proceeded to drive across towards the church. From there, he exited the car and began shooting from outside the church, but he quickly entered the church from the right side and continued firing bullets. He was wearing a ballistic vest and used a military styled rifle of the Ruger brand to carry out the attack in the rural location. He also carried multiple rounds of ammunition for the attack. Once Kelley exited, a neighbor fired at Kelley, although Kelley was able to enter his vehicle and flee. From there, several others began giving chase into the adjacent Guadalupe County, where Kelley crashed and passed away.


The FBI and the Texas Rangers are currently working in a joint investigation to determine what motives Kelley would have for the attack. Kelley was a former Air Force officer who lived in the Texas town of New Braunfels, where he grew up. He served the armed forces in New Mexico, but was court martialed in 2012 after being charged with assaulting his wife and child. The Air Force eventually discharged him in 2014 on the grounds of inappropriate conduct.


The first reaction from U.S. President Donald Trump, who was in the middle of his tour of Asia, came during a press conference in Japan, wherein he called the shooting a “mental health situation”, calling Kelley a “very deranged individual”. Texas Governor Greg Abbott expressed his condolences and publicly asked for “God’s comfort, for God’s guidance and for God’s healing for all those who are suffering.”


The timing is eerie, as this Sutherland Springs shooting occurred on the eighth anniversary of the infamous Fort Hood shooting, where 13 people were killed at a Texan military base. Some have also drawn comparisons between this shooting and that perpetrated by Dylann Roof in a Charleston, South Carolina Episcopal church, although that was later determined to be fueled by white supremacist ideology, whereas the church targeted by Kelley has a Caucasian majority in its membership.

President Trump Visits Victims of Las Vegas Mass Shooting, Expresses Emotional Support


U.S. President Donald Trump made a trip to Las Vegas on Wednesday, October 4th to meet with victims of the mass shooting that took place at a country music festival three days prior. Trump also met with first responders, doctors and nurses who helped to take in the casualties during the visit. In a public address, Trump expressed his inspirational feedback: “We cannot be defined by the evil that threatens us or the violence that incites such terror. In the depths of horror, we will always find hope in the men and women who risk their lives for ours.”


His visit’s first stop was at the University Medical Center, where he also made sure to inform reporters that he had invited some of the victims to visit the White House at a later date. “And believe me, I’ll be there for them,” he added while pointing this out. From there, he visited the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, where he had a conversation with Sheriff Joseph Lombardo before making his scripted public address. During his talks with the police department, he praised their response time, calling himself “a big fan” and calling the department an example of professionalism that they should be proud of.


While Trump was publicly effusive in the general sense towards the efforts of those who have helped the community recover, the bigger headlines came when Trump refused to respond to questions about the national gun control issue, which has become a hot button issue in the wake of several mass shootings making the news domestically and abroad. Specifically, to one reporter who asked if the United States has a “gun violence problem”, Trump simply responded, “We’re not going to talk about that today. We won’t talk about that.”


Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., a bill was introduced to put a ban on the equipment that 64-year-old Stephen Paddock used to fire more quickly. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders followed a similar line of deflection to President Trump, saying that this was not the time for a “political debate” and that a rise in the push for stricter gun control was “premature”. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, whose constituency includes the site of the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School attack in 2012, responded, “If not now, when?”


Paddock was revealed as the man on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino who killed 58 and injured hundreds attending the adjacent music festival. At the time of Trump’s visit, Las Vegas law enforcement had not come to a definitive conclusion on what Paddock’s motives were for the attack. During Trump’s stay at the hospital, the President was overheard calling Paddock “a very sick man” and “a very demented person.”

Joseph Meek Pleads Guilty


Joseph Meek may not be a household name like Dylann Roof, however, he was found culpable for lying to police about Dylann Roof and the actions he was going to take. Meek’s information could have saved lives, however, he failed to report any of Roof’s actions.  He then subsequently lied to the F.BI.  Roof is accused of killing 9 and injuring one in a shooting spree at an African American church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Connecticut Superior Court Denies Gun Manufacturers Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit by Sandy Hook Victims


Mass shootings are beyond out of control in the United States.  There have been over 1000 mass shootings in the United States since 2013.  The age spectrum of the victim’s have ranged from small children to adults.  It seems that no one is immune from gun violence.  This has left family members, friends, and most Americans asking for common sense gun control.  It seems these pleas for stricter gun laws have gone unheard, however, as gun advocates have strengthened their stance on their 2nd Amendment right to own and use firearms.

Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Attack


In November, 2015, Robert Lewis Dear, Jr., opened fire at a Colorado Springs, Colorado, Planned Parenthood clinic.  Dear killed 3 people, including one police officer and injured 9 others.  This attacked happened not long after tapes surfaced showing that Planned Parenthood was selling fetus parts.  It was later found that they allegations were false.

Dylann Roof


On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof entered an African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, and opened fire on a bible study group.  Roof killed 9 people including a senior pastor and state senator Clamenta Pinckney.  He also injured one other in the attack.  He was arrested a day later in Shelby, North Carolina.