The man who shot dead 26 people in a Texas church once escaped from a mental hospital and made death threats against his military superiors while serving in the US Air Force, according to a police report.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said meanwhile that the bureau has recovered the phone belonging to the gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, but has been unable to access the device so far.
Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sunday after killing 26 people, including an unborn child, with an assault rifle at the First Baptist Church in the small Texas town of Sutherland Springs. He wounded 20 others.
The 26-year-old served in the Air Force from 2010 to 2014, when he received a bad conduct discharge.
He was court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his wife and stepchild, fracturing the baby’s skull, and sentenced to 12 months behind bars.
According to an El Paso, Texas, police report obtained by Houston TV station KPRC, Kelley escaped in June 2012 from a psychiatric facility where he had been sent ahead of his assault conviction.
The person who reported him as missing from Peak Behavioural Health Services told police that Kelley “suffered from mental disorders.”
He said Kelley was a “danger to himself and others” and had been “caught sneaking firearms onto Holloman Air Force base,” where he was stationed.
Police were also told that Kelley had been accused of “attempting to carry out death threats” against his “military chain of command.”
While receiving the missing persons report, police were told that Kelley had been located and taken into custody.