The nation is trying to make sense of yet another mass murder, this time in the rural Texas town of Sutherland Springs, where a gunman dressed in black tactical gear attacked a service at a small Baptist church with a Ruger AR assault rifle on Sunday. The attack left at least 26 men, women and children dead, and 20 others wounded.
The suspect in the shooting, a 26-year-old former Air Force member named Devin Patrick Kelley, was found dead after crashing his vehicle and apparently shooting himself, according to reports. Kelley fled the scene after exiting the church and exchanging fire with an armed bystander, who waved down a vehicle and pursued Kelley in a car chase.
Details about Kelley continue to emerge, with multiple outlets reporting that he was court martialed and jailed after assaulting his wife and child while working at an Air Force base in New Mexico. He received a “bad conduct discharge” for domestic violence and left the military in 2014. He divorced his wife and remarried around the same time, according to The New York Times.
Police have yet to state a motive for the attack. Reports indicate Kelley had recently had a dispute with in-laws who live in a nearby town and had attended the church on several occasions, but they were not at the church on Sunday.
It has been just over a month since the mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 400 people injured and 58 people dead. The shooting in Texas is the 307th mass shooting in the United States this year, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive.
The political response in Washington has fallen along predictable party lines. Republican lawmakers have offered mere prayers and…