Tags: Terror in Texas | air force | heather wilson | case | shooter | slip

Air Force Secretary: Military Examining All Cases After Texas Shooter Slips Through

(Fox News/"Fox & Friends")

By    |   Tuesday, 07 November 2017 12:22 PM

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Tuesday that the Air Force is examining all other cases like that of Texas church shooter Deven Kelley, after the military branch had failed to release his criminal records, leaving him able to pass backgrounds checks and buy guns, including the three he had with him during the massacre.

"We're working with the Defense Department Inspector General to look across the Defense Department," Wilson told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. "My responsibility is to make sure the Air Force is checked."

Kelley is dead of a self-inflicted gunshot, after being chased away from the First Baptist Church in tiny Sunderland Springs, Texas by two neighbors who heard him firing the shots that killed 26 of the church's worshippers, ranging in ages from 17 months to older than 70.

The massacre occurred just three years after Kelley was convicted of domestic violence for assaulting his first wife and her 1-year-old baby, cracking the child's skull while he was serving at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

After he spent a year in prison, Kelley was kicked out of the military with a bad conduct charge, according to Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek, but the Air Force did not report the discharge or the criminal charges to the National Criminal Information Center's database, allowing him to purchase weapons, she said in a statement on Monday.

Wilson and chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein have directed an investigation of Kelley’s case, but she said Tuesday that even if a person is released with a dishonorable discharge, that does not mean someone can't buy a gun.

However, in Kelley's case, "it should have been reported and put in the database, and that's why we’ve launched this complete full scale review of this case," said Wilson.

She added that the Air Force is looking at all of its databases, and "if we find a problem, we'll fix it. We act in accordance with our values as an air force. Integrity first and excellence in all we do, and that's what we're doing."

On Monday, a firearms retailer, Academy Sports, confirmed that Kelley had bought two guns from its stores, passing federal background checks both this year and last, The Washington Post reported.

The Pentagon has guidelines to ensure people who have records of violent offenses to be reported to the FBI, but that didn't happen in Kelley's case.

On Tuesday, Wilson also was asked about some of the ongoing issues with the Air Force, including its lack of funding.

"This is the ninth year of the last 10 that we've started with a continuing resolution," she told the program. "The Budget Control Act is still the law of the land, and we need to restore the readiness of the force so that those airmen we're about to swear in are trained and prepared to protect this country.

"So we need to lift those budget control caps and kind of take it off cruise control and let Congress drive this one."

The Air Force has been in combat, nonstop, for 27 years, since the first Persian Gulf War, Wilson said, and it's readiness has declined.

"But that doesn't mean we won't go," Wilson said. "If the nation needs us, we'll go. If we're not ready, it means men are going to come back. So our job is to make sure they're trained, ready, and equipped."

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Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Tuesday that the Air Force is examining all other cases like that of Texas church shooter Deven Kelley, after the military branch had failed to release his criminal records...
air force, heather wilson, case, shooter, slip
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2017-22-07
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 12:22 PM
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