The man who shot and killed 26 people while injuring numerous others at a Texas church on Sunday was a creepy and weird outcast who enjoyed preaching about atheism online, according to former classmates.
Daily Mail reports that several people who attended New Braunfels High School with 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley described him as a “creepy, crazy, and weird,” while a few others called him a normal person who became quiet in the days leading up to the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. Kelley opened fire on a group of church goers on Sunday morning while they gathered for worship services.
“He had a kid or two, fairly normal, but kinda quiet and lately seemed depressed,” said former classmate, Patrick Boyce. “He was the first atheist I met. He went Air Force after high school, got discharged but I don’t know why….I was just shocked [to hear the news]. Still haven’t quite processed how he could have done that.”
Joe and Claryce Holcombe lost children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the Texas church shooting. In all, eight members of their family are dead. https://t.co/rgRIZ2c9VN pic.twitter.com/D93QvUVVMZ
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) November 6, 2017
Another former classmate, Nina Rose Nava, said she deleted Kelley from her Facebook because she couldn’t tolerate his negative posts, but nonetheless was completely shocked at his actions.
“In (sic) in complete shock! I legit just deleted him off my fb cause I couldn’t stand his post. He was always talking about how people who believe in God we’re stupid and trying to preach his atheism.”
Ex-classmate Michael Goff agreed with Nava in that he posted “weird sh**” on Facebook, but also acknowledged that Kelley posted numerous photos of his child.
“I said I just want to move back to Texas,” another classmate who wanted to remain anonymous told Daily Mail. And he said something along the lines of ‘Texas isn’t any better.’ Pretty much said he didn’t like Texas. “He was different in school and creeped me out but never would I have thought he would do such a horrific thing.”
Another former classmate, who referred to Kelley as a “psychopath,” wrote on Facebook that the shooter had to been to his house when they were kids.
— Chuck Woolery (@chuckwoolery) November 6, 2017
“It’s scary to know this psychopath has been in my house. I can’t believe I was friends with this guy and I literally would stay the night at his place when we were kids. I ended up distancing myself from him in high school after he got in an argument with me in school and he tried punching me several times. Dude was crazy man.”
Kelley dressed up in a black tactical suit and a bullet-proof vest before going into the church and opening fire. New York Times reports that as the shooter attempted to get away, he exchanged gunfire with an armed church goer before he jumped in his trunk and sped away. The church goer gave chase and Kelley ended up wrecking his truck off-road. When police found him, the shooter was already dead from an apparent gunshot wound to the head.
The shooter, married with one child, was court-martialed in 2012 and dishonorably discharged from the military for assaulting his wife and baby, according to an Air Force representative.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Handout]